05 Feb 2023
31 Jan 2023
Helium (He), the most stable of all elements, was first discovered in 1868. Since then, it has had wide applications. In medicine, helium, in combination with oxygen (Heliox), has proved clinically valuable in respiratory care applications, helping in reducing the work of breathing by, among other things, (1) improving ventilation distribution and overall alveolar ventilation, (2) reducing airway resistance and minute volume requirement, and (3) improving aerosol delivery. As such, it has been indicated for managing patients with a wide range of respiratory conditions, including the tracheal, larynx, or lower airway obstruction. Despite its potential benefits and a huge body of research and clinical case reports advocating its usage, Heliox has only been used sporadically. Its role also remains largely undefined, owing to a dearth of data supporting its use. The present review searches and presents the available evidence for the effective clinical use of Heliox. The findings describe general beneficial effects in treating patients with a range of respiratory conditions by helping to improve breathing and oxygenation. Further studies are, however, warranted in this regard.