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R Poopalalingam, MH Goh, YW Chan
Correspondence: R Poopalalingam, email@example.com
Objective The aim of the study was to measure the humidity and temperature of the inspired gas in a circle absorber system at fresh gas flows of 11/min and 31/min and assess the need of a heat and moisture exchanger (HME).
Methods This prospective randomised controlled study received the Hospital Ethics Committee approval and informed consent. Forty adult ASA 1 and 11 patients were randomised into four groups to receive with or without HME fresh gas flow of 1L/min or 3L/min. Temperature and the relative humidity readings were taken at the start and every 10 minutes for the first hour of anaesthesia.
Results There was a significantly higher relative humidity, absolute humidity and temperatures of the inspired gases at fresh gas flow of 1L/min and 3L/min with a HME compared to 3L/min without HME. Patients receiving fresh gas flows of lL/min had higher relative and absolute humidity than patients with fresh gas flows of 3L/min. However, the addition of the HME improved the absolute and relative humidity of the inspired gas in patients receiving fresh gas flow of 3l/min to a comparable level. However, the addition of a HME to a fresh gas flow of 1L/min did not significantly improve the humidity of the inspired gas.
Conclusion This suggests that the inherent humidifying property of the circle system at low fresh gas flow of 1L/min was sufficient in short surgeries lasting less than one hour and that the addition of a HME may not be necessary.
Keywords: Humidity, low flow anaesthesia, heat and moisture exchanger, circle anaesthetic system
Singapore Med J 2002; 43(11): 563-565