Disposable breathing circuits are a type of medical equipment used in respiratory therapy and anesthesia. They consist of a series of tubes and connectors that allow a patient to breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide while undergoing treatment. The circuit usually includes a breathing bag, a connector for the patient's airway, and a filter to remove any contaminants from the breathing gas. Disposable circuits are typically used in situations where the risk of infection is high, such as during surgery or in intensive care units, to ensure that each patient is using a clean circuit. They are also preferred over reusable circuits for convenience and ease of use.
Disposable breathing circuits have several functions, including:
Delivering oxygen to the patient: The circuit is connected to an oxygen source, allowing the patient to breathe in oxygen-enriched air.
Removing carbon dioxide: The circuit also includes a mechanism for removing carbon dioxide, such as an absorber, which helps to ensure that the patient is breathing in clean air.
Maintaining airway patency: The circuit includes connectors that are inserted into the patient's airway, such as an endotracheal tube, to maintain an open airway and ensure proper breathing.
Providing a barrier against infection: Disposable circuits are used to reduce the risk of cross-contamination between patients by providing a single-use, disposable barrier.
Monitoring breathing: Some disposable breathing circuits have built-in monitoring devices that measure the patient's breathing rate, tidal volume, and other parameters to help monitor the patient's condition during treatment.
Assisting in mechanical ventilation: The circuit can be connected to a mechanical ventilator which can assist in breathing by providing the right pressure and flow of air to the patient.
Monitoring of Anaesthesia: The circuit can also be used to monitor the anesthesia during surgical procedures, by measuring the concentration of anesthetic gas in the exhaled air.