Artificial humidification for the mechanically ventilated patient

Nurs Stand. 2010;25(8):41-6. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.


Caring for patients who are mechanically ventilated poses many challenges for critical care nurses. It is important to humidify the patient's airways artificially to prevent complications such as ventilator-associated pneumonia. There is no gold standard to determine which type of humidification is best for patients who are artificially ventilated. This article provides an overview of commonly used artificial humidification for mechanically ventilated patients and discusses nurses' responsibilities in caring for patients receiving artificial humidification.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Hot Temperature / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patient Selection
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / prevention & control
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects
  • Respiration, Artificial / nursing*