High-flow nasal cannulae for respiratory support in adult intensive care patients: insufficient evidence to determine its effects

Added March 17, 2020

Citation: Corley A, Rickard CM, Aitken LM, et al. High-flow nasal cannulae for respiratory support in adult intensive care patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017; (5): CD010172.

What is this? Viral infections such as COVID-19 can progress to acute respiratory failure, with patients needing help with their breathing in an intensive care unit (ICU). This might include the use of high-flow nasal cannulae (HFNC), which supply high flows of blended humidified air and oxygen.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized and quasi-randomized trials of the effects of high-flow nasal cannulae use in adult ICU patients compared to other non-invasive forms of respiratory support. Their main searches in March 2016 identified 11 studies (1972 participants) for inclusion in the review. They found 4 more studies in a December 2016 search, which will be considered in an update to the review.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: There is insufficient evidence to determine the effects of high-flow nasal cannulae compared with other forms of respiratory support for adult ICU patients.


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