Why is Humidity Important?
Moisture matters. Just ask any runner who’s slogged through a steamy afternoon. The same can be said for medical professionals trying to analyze a person’s breath. Here’s what happens.
Humidity Can Impact Accuracy and Damage Equipment
During medical procedures, an anesthesiologist measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in a patient’s breath. They do this to keep track of the patient’s pulmonary health and determine appropriate course of action at the right time. How’s this accomplished? The patient’s breath travels through a sample line to a capnogram or in other words, an analyzer.
It’s not just about surgery. More and more medical testing and diagnosis is done using the patient’s breath. Testing a patient’s breath to monitor a variety of issues, including asthma, gastrointestinal issues and cancer, is often less invasive and less expensive than other types of tests.
So, where does water vapor come into play. Well, humans have a lot of moisture in their breath. Even just breathing onto a mirror shows how the water vapor condenses on the survey. If the water vapor is not removed from the patient’s breath sample, it could travel to the analyzer. This is where problems arise. Water vapor can lead to inaccuracies and damage medical equipment. Removing the humidity, or water vapor, before the analysis leads to more accurate results.
Low Humidity Presents Other Challenges
Breathing dry air is uncomfortable. That’s because the human lung usually has 100% relative humidity. When therapeutic gases are delivered to patients, they can be very dry. This can cause discomfort and dry out the mucosal membrane, possibly leading to infection. Humidifying the gasses increases patient comfort and can lead to healthier patient outcomes.
So, Can Humidity Be Controlled?
The answer is YES! Perma Pure’s Nafion™ Polymer tubing can selectively transfer moisture across its membrane and can remove up to 90% moisture from a wet gas stream. Or, it can be used to add water vapor to a dry gas stream in patient therapies. And that means:
- Accurate test results
- Prevents equipment damage (and that leads to more cost savings)
- Increased patient comfort
- Better patient outcomes
Those benefits help everyone breathe easier and be healthier.