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REVIEW  NON-INVASIVE RESPIRATORY SUPPORT IN COVID-19 PNEUMONIA Open accessopen access

Italian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2021 December;10(3):123-7

DOI: 10.23736/S2532-1285.21.00115-4

Copyright © 2021 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

language: English

The role of high-flow nasal cannulae oxygenation

Stefano DE VUONO, Maria R. TALIANI, Sokol BERISHA, Pasquale CIANCI, Alessandra LIGNANI, Francesco BALDUCCI, Laura SETTIMI, Giorgia MANINA, Paolo GROFF

Emergency Department, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Perugia, Italy



Since December 2019, COVID-19 pandemic has reached unprecedented proportions putting a strain on health systems, governments and society as a whole. Regarding the health problem, about 3-5% of people affected by the disease need hospitalization in intensive care unit (ICU). This resulted in a severe shortage of ICU beds, ventilators, drugs and staff in many countries; nevertheless, the evidence for efficacy of these interventions is yet to be consolidated. Consequently more attention has focused on non-invasive respiratory support techniques, both as a potential tool for preventing ICU admission in patients with evolving acute respiratory failure, and as a possible alternative to conventional ventilation in the context of restraint in ICU resources. High-flow oxygen therapy has been shown to be useful in the treatment of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure of various etiology already in the pre-COVID era and has been widely used, with various results, during the pandemic. Its usefulness may derive from the ease of use, its low cost and its mechanism of action which may correspond to some phases of the pathophysiology of the COVID-related disease. In this article we present a summary of the literature available in order to provide the emergency physician with elements to evaluate the pros and cons of its use in the particular context of the emergency department.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Pneumonia; Cannula; Non-invasive ventilation

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