A humidifier system for neonatology that functions according to the 'membrane humidification' principle was subjected to a performance test in our laboratory. Humidification and heating of the respiratory gases took place in a module consisting of a net of hollow fibres placed inside the incubator. In 18 measurement combinations flow, respiratory gas temperature, and incubator temperature were varied. At respiratory gas temperatures within the range of 33-37 degrees C the minimum international standard for the absolute air humidity in the respiratory gas was achieved or exceeded in all measurements. No controlled clinical tests regarding the importance and long term effects of different temperatures and different humidity levels in the inspiratory air are yet available for the ventilation treatment of neonates.
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