Helmet-delivered continuous positive airway pressure with heliox in respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Feb;99(2):308-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01529.x. Epub 2009 Oct 7.


Aim: The objective of this study was to check the feasibility and efficacy of helmet-delivered heliox-continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in infants with bronchiolitis.

Methods: Children <3 months of age diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis and recurrent apnoeas or a venous PCO(2) >55 mmHg or a transcutaneous oxygen saturation <92% in room air were eligible for inclusion in the study. CPAP was delivered by a noninvasive ventilator connected to a heliox port. The interface was a helmet.

Results: Eight consecutive infants fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Apnoeas were present in six children before respiratory support was started; they disappeared in five of them. Two infants had to be changed to pressure support noninvasive ventilation, and one of them required intubation. No side effects were recorded.

Conclusion: We propose a relatively new device to deliver heliox-CPAP in small infants with bronchiolitis. Although this is just a descriptive study with a short sample, this system seems to be feasible and effective.

MeSH terms

  • Apnea / therapy
  • Bronchiolitis / therapy*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / instrumentation*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Helium
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Oxygen
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Helium
  • heliox
  • Oxygen