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Does the use of nasal high flow (NHF) increase the risk of healthcare worker (HCW) infections?

This FAQ is taken from Flow matters COVID-19 edition, updated July2021. Read the full edition here. 

Collectively, clinical observations, investigative research and expert opinions highlight that NHF therapy is not considered to represent an increased risk of
HCW infection via contact, droplet or airborne transmission routes.

Wilson et al. 2021 compared the effect of respiratory activity, noninvasive respiratory support and facemasks on aerosol generation.

Results from the study are illustrated in the chart below.

Notably, cough is now considered to be a relatively high risk respiratory activity which puts all forms of respiratory therapy into perspective.

Comparison of total particle count for respiratory activities*

*Data collated from Wilson et al. 2021.1
† FEV: Forced expiratory volume manoeuvres. Used as proxies for symptomatic laboured breathing and atelectasis.


Flow Matters Edition 10
                                      Read more here (full references included)

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