SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

The Oxidant O (Helium) Index of Flammability of Endotracheal Tubes


The effect on flammability of endotracheal tubes exposed to helium diluted oxygen was measured by the Oxidant O2 (He) index of flammability and compared to the corresponding oxidant O2 (N2) indices of flammability. The oxidant O2 (He) index of flammability for PVC (Portex) ETT is 0.274, for RR ETT 0.194, and for Si ETT 0.194. The differences between helium dilution values and the corresponding nitrogen dilution values are statistically significant, the greatest difference being a factor of 1.2. However the common clinical practice of adding helium as a diluent for oxygen in situations with a potential for flammability may not increase patient safety.

Author Information

Simpson, JI
Wolf, GL
Schiff, GA
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 387–391
DOI: 10.1520/STP24939S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5095-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1288-9