Artificial humidification in ventilated patients
In the operating theatre or intensive care unit, artificial humidification systems are used with ventilated patients to condition medical gases prior to delivery to the patients lower respiratory tract.
This helps to reduce potential harm caused by introducing cold and dry gases to the lower respiratory tract which could lead to complications.
Heated humidifiers (HH) or passive heat and moisture exchangers (HME) are both commonly present in the same clinical environments, with clinical staff choosing their preferred option. Local protocols can also co-exist, such as use of HME in short term and HH for longer term ventilated patients.