Review finds insufficient evidence to support the routine use of heated, humidified high-flow nasal cannula use in neonates

Acta Paediatr. 2014 Sep;103(9):898-903. doi: 10.1111/apa.12695. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


A literature review was carried out following concerns about the use of heated, humidified, high-flow nasal cannulae (HHFNC) in premature infants. Randomised trials following extubation showed that HHFNC was associated with similar or greater reintubation rates than nasal continuous positive airway pressure, but significantly better nasal trauma scores. Infections with Ralstonia bacteria were an issue.

Conclusion: There is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of HHFNC for premature infants and further research is required.

Keywords: Continuous positive airways pressure; Heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula; Neonates; Oxygen; Respiratory support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheters / statistics & numerical data*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*