Category: Critical Care
Keywords: asthma, heliox, airway (PubMed Search)
Posted: 10/12/2010 by Haney Mallemat, MD
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Heliox is a mixture of oxygen and helium resulting in a gas less dense than air. In asthma, airway resistance causes turbulent airflow which increases the work of breathing. Heliox reduces airway resistance by increasing laminar airflow.
Better lung mechanics
Improved nebulizer delivery
Few known side-effects/complications
Contraindicated in hypoxemic patients.
Paucity of large prospective randomized trials.
McGarvey JM, Pollack CV. Heliox in Airway Management. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2008 Nov;26(4):905-20, viii.
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