The Vapotherm device uses membrane transfer technology to generate a high flow of warm humidified gas. Gas can be delivered via nasal cannula at flows of 5-40 L/min and at temperatures of 33-43°C. We reviewed patient records to determine typical flow and temperatures used in the clinical setting with the Vapotherm device and collected patient feedback on comfort of the device.
Thirty-three data records, taken during prospective evaluations, across 10 medical centers were recorded and analyzed for patient demographics, gas flow, temperature, respiratory rate and SaO2 %. Subjective data was collected by respiratory therapists describing comfort for all patients using the Vapotherm.
Records were studied from 14 females and 19 males, mean age 71 years (range 29- 90). Mean flow rate was 21 lpm (range 5–40 L/min: 2 subjects 5 lpm, all others 10 - 40 lpm). Mean temperature was 36.4°C (range 28-43°C). On Vapotherm therapy, mean respiratory rate was 23 bpm and mean SaO2 was 96% (range 90-100%), vs. 27bpm and 90.9% on conventional supplemental oxygen. No patient discomfort from the Vapotherm device was reported or observed by respiratory therapy data collectors. Paired t-test indicates significance for SaO2% and respiratory rate at p= .0001 and .0002, respectively.
The Vapotherm system delivers oxygen-enriched gas at high flows. These high flows may reduce deadspace, add small amounts of PEEP, and decrease the work of breathing. The average flow rate used in this group to maintain hemoglobin saturation was about half of the maximum Vapotherm capability. It is noteworthy that no discomfort was reported from the Vapotherm compared to oxygen masks or standard nasal cannula therapy (at ambient temperature and pressure saturated) using lower flow rates.
High flow humidified gas delivered by nasal cannula, was well tolerated by patients even though gas flows were considerably higher than in traditional nasal cannula therapy. Patients had significant increases in SaO2% and decreases in respiratory rate while using the Vapotherm device.
D.C. Lain, Vapotherm, Inc