Heat and moisture exchanger: importance of humidification in anaesthesia and ventilatory breathing system

J Indian Med Assoc. 2008 Aug;106(8):533-5, 537.


Adequate humidification is vital to maintain homeostasis of the airway. Heat and moisture exchangers conserve some of the exhaled water, heat and return them to inspired gases. Many heat and moisture exchangers also perfom bacterial/viral filtration and prevent inhalation of small particles. Heat and moisture exchangers are also called condenser humidifier, artificial nose, etc. Most of them are disposable devices with exchanging medium enclosed in a plastic housing. For adult and paediatric age group different dead space types are available. Heat and moisture exchangers are helpful during anaesthesia and ventilatory breathing system. To reduce the damage of the upper respiratory tract through cooling and dehydration inspiratory air can be heated and humidified, thus preventing the serious complications.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia*
  • Anesthesiology / instrumentation*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation*
  • Wettability