An Evaluation of 2 New Devices for Nasal High-Flow Gas Therapy

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: The traditional nasal cannula with bubble humidifier is limited to a maximum flow of 6 L/min to minimize the risk of complications. We conducted a bench study of 2 new Food and Drug Administration-approved nasal cannula/humidifier products designed to deliver at flows > 6 L/min. METHODS: Using a digital psychrometer we measured the relative humidity and temperature of delivered gas from each device, at 5 L/min increments over the specified functional high-flow range. RESULTS: The Salter Labs unit achieved 72.5–78.7% relative humidity (5–15 L/min range) at ambient temperature (21–23°C). The Vapotherm device achieved 99.9% relative humidity at a temperature setting of 37°C (5–40 L/min). CONCLUSIONS: Both devices meet minimum humidification standards and offer practical new treatment options. The patient-selection criteria are primarily the severity of the patient's condition and cost.

Keywords: CANNULA; HUMIDIFICATION; OXYGEN; OXYGEN THERAPY; OXYGENATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Respiratory Therapy Program, Critical Care Department, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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