Heliox in the treatment of status asthmaticus: Case reports [Heliox no tratamento do mal asmático: Relato de casos]

A. I. Carvalho, Sara Querido, J. Silvestre, Pedro Póvoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Helium was discovered in 1868 by the French astronomer Pierre-Jules-César Janssen and was first used as a therapeutic treatment for airway obstruction by Barach almost 70 years later, in 1934. Heliox is characterized by its low density, which makes it more fluid under conditions of turbulence, thus minimizing airway pressure and facilitating the occurrence of laminar flow. The present article describes two clinical cases of patients with status asthmaticus subjected to mechanical ventilation and refractory to treatment in whom heliox was used, which allowed optimization of the efficacy of conventional pharmacological treatments. Although heliox is still used sporadically and its true efficacy has not been well demonstrated, the unique physical properties of helium and the theoretical improvement of the airflow in obstructed airways have produced scientific interest and stimulated research. Heliox can be used simultaneously with conventional therapies in cases of serious and refractory exacerbations of severe obstructive disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalRevista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Heliox
  • Airway obstruction
  • Asthma
  • Acute disease
  • Respiration
  • artificial
  • Case reports

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