Varying concentrations of helium-oxygen (heliox) mixtures were evaluated in mechanically ventilated children with bronchiolitis. We hypothesized that, with an increase in the helium:oxygen ratio, and therefore a decrease in gas density, ventilation and oxygenation would improve in children with bronchiolitis. Ten patients, aged 1-9 months, were mechanically ventilated in synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation (SIMV) mode with the following gas mixtures delivered at 15-min intervals: 50%/50% nitrogen/oxygen, 50%/50% heliox, 60%/40% heliox, 70%/30% heliox, and return to 50%/50% nitrogen/oxygen. The use of different heliox mixtures compared with 50%/50% nitrogen/oxygen in mechanically ventilated children with bronchiolitis did not result in a significant or noticeable decrease in ventilation or oxygenation
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