There are two types of cold-water humidifiers: air humidifiers and bubble humidifiers ( Fig 3). These devices have been gradually abandoned because of their poor performance in terms of heat preservation.
Fig. 3 Cold-water humidifier. (Reproduced with permission from Thomachoteia/ (19,9,5))
Heated humidifiers are now considered to be standard (Fig, 4). Water is supplied in vapor form. The device allows the delivery of gases that are totally saturated in water vapor. Many systems have a reservoir with an immersed heating element; others have an adjacent heating element or a heating chamber. The heated humidifier is located in the inspiration circuit between the ventilator and the patient. The most sophisticated models have a heating element in the inspiratory circuit up to the Y-piece. Therefore the inspired gases are maintained at a constant temperature in order to reduce the condensation of water vapor in the inspiratory circuit. A thermometer at the Y-piece controls the temperature of the inspired gases.
Fig. 4 Heated humidifiers. (Reproduced with permission from T,h,o,m..a.c,h,,o.t...§.t.,a.l (19.95))
Staff using this type of device must be properly trained to check the electrical connections, the water level in the reservoir, the proper assembly of the circuits, and the aseptic filling of the water tank.
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