New Hampshire Patent of the Month – May 2021

Respiratory therapies like humidifiers or ventilators are required to help some patients breathe. While there are some disinfection protocols used to minimize bacterial growth, the use of water and water vapor means that true sanitation is never guaranteed. As such, Vapotherm, Inc. has designed an improved humidifier apparatus that better prevents bacterial growth.

The system delivers humidified breathing gas to a patient. The system has a base unit and a vapor transfer unit with a liquid passage, breathing gas passage, and a vapor transfer device. The base unit heats up water as it is pulled through from an external reservoir, combining it with the breathing gas and distributing it to the patient through a cannula.

The base unit is able to control flow rate and humidification. Since the vapor transfer unit is disposable and the base unit is reusable, the fluid only ever passes through the vapor transfer unit, and does not directly contact the base unit. This prevents cross contamination between fluid sources. Two different fluids (eg. oxygen, carbon dioxide etc) can be passed through to provide custom treatment as needed. The flow of breathing gas can be controlled as needed by the base unit, providing a clinically effective respiratory therapy with reduced chance at contamination.

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