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The effect of heat and moisture exchanger on humidity and body temperature in a low-flow anaesthesia system

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Abstract:

Background:

Artificial humidification of dry inspired gases seems to reduce the drop in body temperature during surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the humidity and temperature of anaesthetic gases with heat and moisture exchangers (HMEs). The secondary aim was to evaluate if HMEs in combination with low-flow anaesthesia could prevent a decrease in the body temperature during general anaesthesia. Methods:

Ninety patients scheduled for general surgery were randomised to receive a fresh gas flow of 1.0, 3.0 or 6.0 l min−1 with or without HMEs in a circle anaesthesia system. Relative humidity, absolute humidity, temperature of inspired gases and body temperatures were measured during 120 min of anaesthesia. Results:

The inspiratory absolute humidity levels with HMEs were 32.7 ± 3.1, 32.1 ± 1.1 and 29.2 ± 1.9 mg H2O l−1 and 26.6 ± 2.3, 22.6 ± 3.0 and 13.0 ± 2.6 mg H2O l−1 without HMEs after 120 min of anaesthesia with 1.0, 3.0, or 6.0 l min−1 fresh gas flows (P < 0.05, between with and without HME). The relative humidity levels with HMEs were 93.8 ± 3.3, 92.7 ± 2.2 and 90.7 ± 3.5%, and without the HMEs 95.2 ± 4.5, 86.8 ± 8.0 and 52.8 ± 9.8% (P < 0.05, between with and without HMEs in the 3.0 and 6.0 l min−1 groups). The inspiratory gas temperatures with HMEs were 32.5 ± 2.0, 32.4 ± 0.5 and 31.0 ± 1.9°C, and 28.4 ± 1.5, 27.1 ± 0.8 and 26.1 ± 0.6°C without HMEs after 120 min of anaesthesia (P < 0.05, between with and without HME). The tympanic membrane temperatures at 120 min of anaesthesia were 35.8 ± 0.6, 35.5 ± 0.6 and 35.4 ± 0.8°C in the groups with HMEs, and 35.8 ± 0.6, 35.3 ± 0.7 and 35.3 ± 0.9°C in the groups without the HMEs (NS). Conclusions:

The HMEs improved the inspiratory absolute humidity, relative humidity and temperature of the anaesthetic gases during different fresh gas flows. However, the HMEs were not able to prevent a body temperature drop during low-flow anaesthesia.

Keywords: Anaesthesia; anaesthetics; equipment; humidity and temperature; isoflurane; low-flow; main measures; nursing; rebreathing circle circuit, heat and moisture exchanger

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1399-6576.2003.00108.x

Affiliations: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

Publication date: 2003-05-01

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