Published: 25 April 2019
Author(s): Andrea Boccatonda, Paolo Groff
Issue: April 2019

High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) represents a new oxygenation system to be used in the treatment of respiratory emergencies. During HFNC therapy, the active humidification and air heating system allow the patient to tolerate higher flows by favouring physiologic mucociliary clearance and improving fluidity of respiratory secretions. Following this, FiO2 values are more stable and reliable, by reducing losses and minimizing ambient air entrainment. Several clinical trials in acute respiratory failure patients have suggested lower rate of invasive mechanical ventilation, improved comfort and enhanced survival by early HFNC utilization in comparison with conventional oxygen therapy (COT) or non-invasive ventilation (NIV).


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