Humidification of inspired gases during mechanical ventilation

Minerva Anestesiol. 2012 Apr;78(4):496-502. Epub 2012 Jan 23.


Humidification of inspired gas is mandatory for all mechanically ventilated patients to prevent secretion retention, tracheal tube blockage and adverse changes occurring to the respiratory tract epithelium. However, the debate over "ideal" humidification continues. Several devices are available that include active and passive heat and moisture exchangers and hot water humidifiers Each have their advantages and disadvantages in mechanically ventilated patients. This review explores each device in turn and defines their role in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
  • Ventilators, Mechanical