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Intensive Care Med. 1993;19(8):462-6.

Use of heat and moisture exchanging (HME) filters in mechanically ventilated ICU patients: influence on airway flow-resistance.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Pavia, Varese, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the flow-resistance of a new generation of Heat Moisture Exchanging Filters (HME filters) during 24 h of clinical use.

DESIGN:

Before-after trial.

SETTING:

A general Intensive Care Unit of a university hospital.

PATIENTS:

A consecutive series of 96 patients undergoing mechanical ventilation for respiratory insufficiency of various etiology and severity.

METHODS:

The characteristics of the secretions collected by tracheal suctioning and the pressure/flow relationship of the HMEs before and after 24 h of clinical use were analyzed.

RESULTS:

The resistance of the HMEs when dry was 2 hPa/l.s, and it increased to a maximum of 1 hPa/l.s in 83% of the patients after 24 hours; in four patients with particularly heavy secretions HME resistance was 4-5 hPa/l.s. There were no significant modifications of the secretions within the investigation period, excluding, in particular, an increase in density with consequent tracheal tube obstruction.

CONCLUSION:

The gas conditioning efficiency and design performance of the tested HMEs did not create a significant obstacle to airflow medium term mechanical ventilation; however, these devices should be cautiously used in patients with heavy bronchial secretions.

PMID:
8294629
DOI:
10.1007/bf01711088
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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