Why is it essential to humidify oxygen used during respiratory therapy?
Oxygen is a very hot gas so if humidification isn’t used, the oxygen will burn the respiratory tract and cause considerable pain for the patient when they breathe.
Oxygen is a dry gas which can cause evaporation of water from the respiratory tract and lead to thickened mucus in the airways, reduction of the movement of cilia and increased susceptibility to respiratory infection.
Humidification cleans the oxygen as it is administered to ensure it is free from any aerobic pathogens before it is inhaled by the patient.
Humidifying oxygen adds hydrogen to it, which makes it easier for oxygen to be absorbed to the blood in the lungs. This means the cells that need it for intracellular function have their needs met in a more timely manner