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HUMIDIFICATION OF RESPIRATORY GASES – SELECTION OF BEST METHOD FOR IN-HOSPITAL AND TRANSPORT VENTILATION.

OVERVIEW

Heat and moisture exchange is one of the most important functions of the respiratory system. The nose is responsible for warming inspired air, increasing its humidity carrying capacity.  After endotracheal intubation, however, the upper airway is circumvented and the respiratory system loses its capacity to heat and moisten inhaled gas. This imposes a burden on the lower respiratory tract, which is not designed for the humidification process. Consequently, delivery of partially cold and dry medical gases brings about potential damage to the respiratory epithelium, manifested by increased work of breathing, atelectasis, thick and dehydrated secretions, and cough and/or bronchospasm. Read more


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