Use of high-flow nasal cannula and noninvasive ventilation in patients with COVID-19: A multicenter observational study

BACKGROUND The use of high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with COVID-19 is debated.
METHODS This study was performed in four hospitals of China from January to March 2020. We retrospectively enrolled 23 and 13 COVID-19 patients who used HFNC and NIV as first-line therapy, respectively.
RESULTS Among the 23 patients who used HFNC as first-line therapy, 10 experienced HFNC failure and used NIV as rescue therapy. Among the 13 patients who used NIV as first-line therapy, one (8%) used HFNC as rescue therapy due to NIV intolerance. The duration of HFNC + NIV (median 7.1, IQR: 3.5-12.2 vs. 7.3, IQR: 5.3-10.0 days), intubation rate (17% vs. 15%) and mortality (4% vs. 8%) did not differ between patients who used HFNC and NIV as first-line therapy. In total cohorts, 6 (17%) patients received intubation. Time from initiation of HFNC or NIV to intubation was 8.4 days (IQR: 4.4-18.5). And the time from initiation of HFNC or NIV to termination in patients without intubation was 7.1 days (IQR: 3.9-10.3). Among all the patients, C-reactive protein was independently associated with intubation (OR = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01-1.07). In addition, no medical staff got nosocomial infection who participated in HFNC and NIV management.
CONCLUSIONS In critically ill patients with COVID-19 who used HFNC and NIV as first-line therapy, the duration of HFNC + NIV, intubation rate and mortality did not differ between two groups. And no medical staff got nosocomial infection during this study.

as reported in: Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Aug; 46 276-281