helium


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helium

 (He) [he´le-um]
a chemical element, atomic number 2, atomic weight 4.003. (See Appendix 6.) Helium is a chemically inert element that is odorless, tasteless, and noncombustible. Because of its low density it is easily moved through the air passages and therefore requires little effort in breathing on the part of the patient in respiratory distress. Although helium itself has no chemical therapeutic value, when combined with oxygen it facilitates delivery of oxygen to the lungs (see helium-oxygen therapy). It should be noted that helium causes the voice to be high-pitched and the spoken word difficult to understand. This should be explained to the patient with the assurance that the effect is harmless and temporary.
helium-oxygen therapy the administration of a mixture of helium and oxygen (commonly 80 per cent He and 20 per cent O2, or 70 per cent He and 30 per cent O2); used in the management of airway obstruction associated with bronchospasm or bronchial asthma. The He-O2 mixture is about one third the density of air. This reduces turbulent flow and the patient effort required for ventilation.

he·li·um (He),

(hē'lē-ŭm),
A gaseous element present in minute amounts in the atmosphere (0.000524% of dry volume); atomic no. 2, atomic wt. 4.002602; used as a diluent of medicinal gases; used as a diluent of oxygen principally in nonmedical applications, and in its liquid form as the coolant for super-conducting magnets (as in magnetic resonance imaging).
[G. hēlios, the sun]

helium

/he·li·um/ (He) (hēl´e-um) chemical element, at. no. 2. It is obtained from natural gas. Used as a diluent for other gases, particularly with oxygen in the treatment of certain cases of respiratory obstruction, and as a vehicle for general anesthetics.

helium (He)

[hē′lē·əm]
Etymology: Gk, helios, sun
a colorless, odorless gaseous element; the second lightest element. Its atomic number is 2; its atomic mass is 4.00. Helium is one of the rare or inert gases and does not combine with other elements. It occurs in the atmosphere at concentrations of five parts per million. Because of its lightness and lack of flammability, it is also used to lift airships and balloons. In the liquid state it is used for low-temperature activities. The main physiological and medical uses of helium are in respiratory therapy and testing and the prevention of nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness in hyperbaric environments. Helium is one third as soluble in lipids as is nitrogen. That characteristic accounts for its preferred use in hyperbaric atmospheres, such as those associated with deep-sea diving. A mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen is commonly breathed by deep-sea divers to prevent gas emboli and by patients undergoing treatment to clear obstruction of the respiratory tract. Problems associated with such uses involve the high velocity of acoustic transmission in helium and the high thermal conductivity of the gas. These characteristics produce voice distortions and hypothermia in persons who inhale it. The low density of helium reduces the effort of breathing any gas mixture of which it is a component. Helium is used in pulmonary function testing to calculate the diffusion and residual capacities of the lungs.

he·li·um

(hē'lē-ŭm)
A gaseous element present in minute amounts in the atmosphere (0.000524% of dry volume); atomic no. 2, atomic wt. 4.002602; used as a diluent of medicinal gases, particularly oxygen.
[G. hēlios, the sun]

he·li·um

(He) (hē'lē-ŭm)
A gaseous element present in minute amounts in the atmosphere used as a diluent of medicinal gases.
[G. hēlios, the sun]

helium (He) (hē´lēum),

n a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas; one of the inert gaseous elements. Atomic number, 2; atomic weight, 4.003. Used in medicine as a diluent for other gases.

helium

a chemical element, atomic number 2, atomic weight 4.003, symbol He. See Table 6.
Helium is a chemically inert element that is odorless, tasteless and noncombustible. Because of its low density it is easily moved through the air passages and therefore requires little effort in breathing on the part of the patient who is in respiratory distress. Although helium itself has no chemical therapeutic value, when combined with oxygen it facilitates the delivery of this gas to the lungs (see helium-oxygen therapy).
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