Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of high-flow nasal cannula oxygen (HFNC) on patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) in comparison with conventional oxygen therapy.
Materials and methods: This was a prospective observational study. Patients with persistent ARF despite oxygen with conventional facemask without indication for immediate intubation were treated with HFNC oxygen. Clinical respiratory parameters and arterial blood gases were compared under conventional and HFNC oxygen therapy.
Results: Twenty patients, aged 59 years (38-75 years) and SAPS2 (simplified acute physiology score) 33 (26.5-38), were included in the study. Etiology of ARF was mainly pneumonia (n = 11), sepsis (n = 3), and miscellaneous (n = 6). Use of HFNC enabled a significant reduction of respiratory rate, 28 (26-33) vs 24.5 (23-28.5) breath per minute (P = .006), and a significant increase in oxygen saturation, oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry 93.5% (90-98.5) vs 98.5% (95.5-100) (P = .0003). Use of HFNC significantly increased Pao(2) from 8.73 (7.13-11.13) to 15.27 (9.66-25.6) kPa (P = .001) and moderately increased Paco(2), 5.26 (4.33-5.66) to 5.73 (4.8-6.2) kPa (P = .005) without affecting pH. Median duration of HFNC was 26.5 (17-121) hours. Six patients were secondarily intubated, and 3 died in the intensive care unit.
Conclusion: Use of HFNC in patients with persistent ARF was associated with significant and sustained improvement of both clinical and biologic parameters.
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