Heated and Humidified High Flow Oxygen Therapy

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Heated and Humidified High-Flow Oxygen Therapy Reduces Discomfort During Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure

This research article was written after a randomized study was done to evaluate the effects that heated and humidified high flow oxygen therapy has on patients that suffer from hypoxemic respiratory failure. In general when a patient is admitted to the hospital and placed on a high flow oxygen device there is no heat or humidity added to the supplemental oxygen the patient is getting. As anyone might imagine breathing in a high flow of cold, dry oxygen could cause real pain and discomfort. In the past there have been multiple studies done on the humidification systems used during endotracheal mechanical ventilation, but few studies have been done on the outcomes of using humidified and non-humidified oxygen therapy on spontaneously breathing patients. The findings from this study as well as a few others that I looked at were quite interesting.

This study was a randomized single-center trial because it was only conducted in one hospital. The randomized trial took place from December 2009 until December 2010 in the medical ICU of Hôpital Henri Mondor in Paris, France. As for how the subjects were chosen it was simple, consecutive patients were included if they required at least 4 L/min of oxygen to maintain a SpO2 above 95%. There was some exclusion criteria put into place; any of the patients that required noninvasive or invasive mechanical ventilation were not really applicable for the study. The patients also had to be in the right state of mind for the study because they would be required to rate the dryness and preference for one of the two oxygen delivery systems. One of the main methods used in monitoring the patients was acoustic rhinometry, it is used to assess whether or not there is any type of nasal airway obstruction. In this case that is something that would possibly make a difference on the level of discomfort a patient could...
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