Humidification of respired gases during mechanical ventilation: mechanical considerations

Respir Care Clin N Am. 2006 Jun;12(2):253-61. doi: 10.1016/j.rcc.2006.03.011.


Humidification of inspired gases during mechanical ventilation remains a standard of care. Optimal humidity is an elusive target and is not clearly defined in the literature. The choice of a humidification device cannot be made solely on the basis of moisture output, however. The clinician must consider the effects of the device on gas exchange and spontaneous breath-ing. The author's group has used the data reviewed here to modify their previous algorithm for choosing a humidification device (see Fig. 2). Humidification requirements for noninvasive ventilation need further study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / therapy*
  • Ventilator Weaning