newborn in NICUCurrent medical protocol requires use of cold, dry gas in the resuscitation of neonates. This gas can reduce body temperature and increase lung damage. Researchers from Mater Mothers’ Hospital attempted to find a way to increase temperature and humidity of resuscitation gases within a clinically safe timeframe to reduce the impact of cold, dry gas on neonatal health.

Researchers tested various options, including rates of gas flow (6, 8 and 10 L/min); chambers (MR225 and MR290) and volume of water (30 ml and 108 ml). Chamber temperatures were recorded for 20 minutes at 30-second intervals using three locations – chamber, probe and T-piece.

It took 360 seconds to reach 36-degrees C and 107 seconds to reach 100% relative humidity. Stability between temperature and relative humidity was reached at 480 seconds or eight minutes. Researchers believe humidity and temperature can be increased to optimal levels within a clinically effective time. Optimal set-up was achieved with gas flow of 10 L/min in the MR290 chamber with 30 ml.

Source: Farley RC, Gibbons K, Jardine LA, Shearman AD. Effect of flow rate, humidifier dome and water volume on maximising heated, humidified gas use for neonatal resuscitation. Resuscitation. 2013 Apr 12. pii: S0300-9572(13)00212-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.04.004.