Humidification on Ventilated Patients: Heated Humidifications or Heat and Moisture Exchangers?

F Cerpa 1, D Cáceres 1, C Romero-Dapueto , C Giugliano-Jaramillo 1, R Pérez 1, H Budini 1, V Hidalgo 1, T Gutiérrez 1, J Molina 2, J Keymer*, 1
1 Servicio de Medicina Física y Rehabilitación, Clínica Alemana de Santiago, Santiago, Chile
2 Escuela de Kinesiología, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile

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© Cerpa et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Servicio de Medicina Física y Rehabilitación, Clínica Alemana de Santiago, Avenida Vitacura 5951, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile; Tel: +56222101421; Fax: +56222101421; E-mail:


The normal physiology of conditioning of inspired gases is altered when the patient requires an artificial airway access and an invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). The endotracheal tube (ETT) removes the natural mechanisms of filtration, humidification and warming of inspired air. Despite the noninvasive ventilation (NIMV) in the upper airways, humidification of inspired gas may not be optimal mainly due to the high flow that is being created by the leakage compensation, among other aspects. Any moisture and heating deficit is compensated by the large airways of the tracheobronchial tree, these are poorly suited for this task, which alters mucociliary function, quality of secretions, and homeostasis gas exchange system. To avoid the occurrence of these events, external devices that provide humidification, heating and filtration have been developed, with different degrees of evidence that support their use.

Keywords: Air humidification, Humidification devices, humidification IMV, humidification NIMV.