Nasal high flow (NHF) is a mode of noninvasive respiratory support that delivers high flows of blended air and oxygen through a nasal interface.1
With NHF, flow is prescribed and set. A level of dynamic positive airway pressure is generated as a result of the flow, which is dependent on a range of factors such as the weight of the infant, the set flow rate, and nare occlusion.4
NHF differs from standard oxygen therapy in that it can accurately deliver a prescribed FiO2 when the set flow rate meets or exceeds a patient’s peak inspiratory demand.12,13
FiO2 is the proportion of oxygen in the air that is inspired.13 In addition to the ability to deliver accurate FiO2, the combined mechanisms of NHF has the effect of improving oxygenation status.14-16
As NHF is an open system, it is gentle on the nose.
Compared to continuous positive airway pressure, NHF improves patient comfort, compliance, and tolerance to therapy.17,18 NHF is also associated with a significant reduction to rates of nasal trauma.19-20
To assess patient comfort, studies have used objective measures such as heart rate, facial expressions, and movement.18
There is a well-established evidence base that describes how NHF can be used to support the patient pathway through the hospital.
Learn more about the applications of NHF for different patient populations.
Find clinical evidence and practice guidelines for delivering nasal high flow (aka HFNC) therapy.
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Establish effective spontaneous breathing or assist ventilation of the lungs
Respiratory support that replaces spontaneous breathing
Noninvasive respiratory support that provides a continuous distending pressure
Noninvasive respiratory support that delivers high flows of blended air and oxygen
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