High-flow oxygen cuts need for ventilator use among COVID-19 patients, study finds

Among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the use of high-flow oxygen through a nasal cannula reduced the need for invasive mechanical ventilation and sped up recovery compared to conventional oxygen therapy, according to research published Dec. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Researchers analyzed the outcomes of 199 COVID-19 patients in the emergency and intensive care units across three Columbian hospitals from August 2020 to January 2021 and followed them through Feb. 10, 2021. About half were given high-flow oxygen and half were assigned conventional oxygen therapy. 

About 34.3 percent of patients receiving high-flow oxygen were intubated, compared to 51 percent of those on conventional oxygen therapy. The median time to recover among the high-flow oxygen cohort was lower at 11 days compared to 14 days for patients receiving conventional oxygen therapy. 

 "Among patients with severe COVID-19, use of high-flow oxygen through a nasal cannula significantly decreased need for mechanical ventilation support and time to clinical recovery compared with conventional low-flow oxygen therapy," researchers concluded.


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