Noninvasive Ventilation

Humidification is vital for maintaining the natural balance of heat and moisture in the airways. Without Essential Humidity, the high pressures and flow rates used with NIV can overwhelm the patient’s natural conditioning mechanism.

Large volumes of cool, dry gas may cause the patient’s already compromised respiratory system to deteriorate further.

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Clinical Practice Guidelines (2012):

  • Active humidification is suggested for noninvasive ventilation (NIV) as it may improve adherence and comfort.
  • Passive humidification (HME) is not recommended for noninvasive ventilation.

Benefits of Noninvasive Ventilation with Essential Humidity

Patient Clinician
Reduced dry mouth, cracked lips, nosebleeds Fewer breaks in ventilation
Minimized airway drying, inflammation Less time required refitting face masks
Reduced congestion & bronchoconstriction Less oral care for dry mouth
Improved secretion clearance More comfortable patients
Improved work of breathing Increased NIV therapy tolerance
Improved ventilation Increased confidence in noninvasive therapy

View key clinical references

Essential Humidity Maximizes Tolerance

By heating and humidifying the gas flow to the same level as that which occurs naturally in the nasopharynx (31 °C, 32 mg/L), patient tolerance to the therapy is maximized in three ways:

  • Increased comfort
  • Reduced airway drying
  • Improved secretion clearance

Essential Humidity compensates for the cooling and drying effects of ventilation gases.

Active Humidification to Manage COPD Exacerbations

COPD is characterized by a range of pathological changes, including airway ciliary dysfunction and mucous hypersecretion. The inflammatory and structural changes increase with severity. Exacerbations represent a further amplification of the inflammatory response.

To improve outcomes and prevent readmissions, we need to optimize management of acute COPD exacerbations. Active humidification has been shown to improve mucociliary clearance. It should be used in the presence of copious secretions.