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Is nasal high flow recommended for the treatment of COVID-19?

This FAQ is taken from Flow matters COVID-19 edition, updated Feb 2022. Read the complete edition here. 


Nasal high flow use on COVID-19 patients has been observed to:

  • Keep patients off mechanical ventilation and help them stay off.
  • Lower the rate of mortality.
  • Be successfully used outside of ICU settings
  • Reduce the length of stay.

“[NHF] use is associated with a reduction in the rate of invasive mechanical ventilation and overall mortality in patients with COVID-19 infection.” - Patel et al. 2020.

The number of organizations that have published evidence-based guidelines recommending the use of NHF for COVID-19 patients continues to grow:

  • World Health Organisation
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Health Commission of the Peoples Republic of China
  • Surviving Sepsis Campaign
  • Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society
  • European Respiratory Society
  • International expert consensus statement
  • Expert recommendations from a French panel consisting of members from various intensive care societies


Flow Matters Edition 10
Read more here. (includes all references) 

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