Oxygen FAQ

Up to date, expert answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about oxygen supply systems, respiratory care and pulse oximetry written by OCC & collaborators.

How often does the ventilator circuit need to be changed?

Many would argue that ideally, breathing circuits should be changed between new patients though do not necessarily need to be changed on a routine basis for the same patient; change the breathing circuit only if it has been soiled or damaged (Han, Liu. Respir Care 2010).

However, it is important to note:

  • there is considerable practice variation on this (especially prior to the pandemic and especially with anesthesia breathing circuits);  often depends on local/national regulations and patient specific factors
  • circuit change practices have considerable impact on the environment

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