Most clinicians will have encountered patients with airway obstruction where conventional treatment regimes have been inadequate, resulting in serious patient discomfort.
Breathing helium/oxygen mixtures can lead to a reduction in resistance to flow within the airways, and consequently to a decrease in the work of breathing, particularly in disorders that are characterized by increased airway resistance.
Medical helium/oxygen mixtures augment, rather than replace, other treatments. Helium/oxygen mixtures do not directly treat the cause of a respiratory condition, but can help relieve symptoms by improving gas exchange in the alveoli, buying time for conventional clinical treatments to take effect.
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