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How does helium help asthma?

3 min read

Asked by: Erin Morgan

Heliox acts by lowering the resistance to gas flow within the airways and permitting an increase in ventilation. This it does for two main reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, breathing Heliox leads to a reduction in the Reynolds number, converting turbulent flow into more efficient laminar flow.

What is helium therapy used for?

The major benefit of heliox comes from its lower density and improvement in flow dynamics and therefore, is primarily used for treatment of upper airway obstructions (intrinsic and extrinsic), croup, and post-extubation stridor.

How does heliox help breathing?

Heliox is a mixture of helium and oxygen used for inhalation. This agent is thought to improve airflow by creating gas with similar viscosity to air but with lower density, which in turn can increase ventilation and decrease work of breathing.

How does breathing in an oxygen helium gas mixture help patients who have an asthma attack?

In the 1930’s Alan Barach introduced helium in combination with oxygen, heliox, to the medical world. He found that helium’s physical properties help reduce the work of breathing, reduce airway resistance, and subsequently improve alveolar ventilation in obstructed airways.

Why is heliox used?

Due to of its physical proprieties, Heliox breathing reduces air flow resistances within the bronchial tree; in patients with obstructive lung diseases Heliox may also reduce the work of breathing and improve pulmonary gas exchange efficiency.

What is heliox therapy asthma?

Heliox breathing reduces air flow resistance within the bronchial tree in patients with obstructive lung disease, and has beneficial effects in severe asthma attacks. Heliox may also reduce the work of breathing and improve pulmonary gas exchange efficiency.

What does 70/30 heliox mean?

Heliox (mixture of helium and oxygen optimally effective at a 70 : 30 mix) has been shown to improve the delivery and deposition of nebulized albuterol. If a patient requires more than 30% oxygen, it cannot be used. Heliox may be useful in acute severe asthma refractory to conventional treatment.

Why do deep sea divers use helium and oxygen?

In some dives, both nitrogen and oxygen can induce a state similar to drunkenness. Adding helium to the mix reduces this so divers can think more clearly. Using helium can also mean divers can take fewer stops on their return to the surface, without suffering decompression sickness.

Which gas is used to fill cylinder to help people with lung ailments breathe more easily?

Nitrogen (N2) is a diatomic gas and the main component of air, the cheapest and most common breathing gas used for diving.

How does heliox help stridor?

A mixture of helium and oxygen is less dense than room air. This property allows the gas to flow with less turbulence past airway narrowings, thereby decreasing airway resistance and increasing the volume of gas exchange.

How do you give heliox therapy?

Heliox can be administered via a well-fitting face mask at flows high enough to prevent entrainment of room air. The effectiveness of heliox in reducing the density of administered gas and improving laminar airflow depends on the helium concentration of the gas.

What is the side effects of heliox?

Adverse Reactions: Helium therapy for patients with COPD may include a decrease in ventilation, carbon dioxide production, and oxygen consumption. Generally the only hazard of helium in the non-intubated patient includes the change in one’s voice (a temporarily high pitched voice).

What mask is used in heliox therapy?

3V+R is the ideal facemask to use for optimised heliox delivery.