How do HME Filters work?

When the air we breathe is not warm and humid, it can cause thick, dry and bloody mucus, which can block the airways, making mechanical breathing difficult and vulnerable to infections and respiratory complications.

Heat and Moisture Exchanger Filters (HMEF) humidify, moisturize and warms the air that goes to the lungs when someone’s normal breathing is compromised. They keep a proper temperature of the airways to avoid dryness, bacterial accumulation, infections, and complications. HME filters are also used to prevent any possible tube occlusion.

    1. Where are HME Filters placed?

Heat and Moisture Exchanger Filters are placed between the breathing circuit and the Y-piece (between the breathing system and the patient) to provide heating and humidification to the upper respiratory airway to patients under mechanical ventilation in intensive care or under anesthesia.

    1. Why are HME Filters so Important and Necessary?

The upper respiratory airways (nose and mouth) naturally moisturize the air we breathe. When you inhale, these airways become humidified and are filtered before the air reaches the lungs.

When the air is not inhaled through our nose or mouth, it is not naturally heated nor humidified. HME filters are important and necessary because they help patients who are not able to breathe through upper airways on the own.

    1. HME Filters help:

    • Reduce and prevent bacteria and microbes from propagating into the airways

    • Humidify and moisturize

    • Use patient’s exhaled gases to heat and moisture the air that is inhaled back in.

    • Prevent respiratory occlusions

    • Ensure a better recovery and lessen risk of respiratory complications.

    • Minimizes ventilation interruption

    • Avoids cross contamination on patient and device

    • Lowers cannula and tube displacement risks.

    • Drops respiratory pressure

    1. HMEF Benefits:

    • Allows pairing to universal connectors

    • Can be used safely and effectively for more than 3 days

    • Light and very easy to adapt and use

    • Help prevent respiratory complications

    • Provides patient and equipment protection from possible particles in the system

    • Permits visual control of the device and airway mechanism

    1. Where and when should HME filters be used?

    • In the OR, when patients are under anesthesia.

    • Intensive Care Units, when using mechanical ventilation.

    • Chronic care units and home care.

    • When patients with mechanical ventilation are being moved or transported

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