What is the effectiveness of high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) therapy compared with standard oxygen therapy, noninvasive ventilation, or noninvasive positive pressure (NIPPV) ventilation for respiratory support in adults in the intensive care unit?

Critically ill patients are at high risk for severe hypoxemia that can lead to significant tissue damage and death if not corrected. Supplemental oxygen can be delivered via multiple methods, including mechanical ventilation, noninvasive ventilation, NIPPV, HFNC therapy, and low-flow nasal cannula (LFNC) therapy. Up to 40% of all patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) receive mechanical ventilation; although this method is often necessary, it presents risks and potential complications, including trauma to the pulmonary system and increased mortality.2,3 

To avoid these complications, the use of alternative methods of respiratory support that can provide adequate oxygen levels is often considered. Use of LFNC therapy can be helpful but often cannot provide...

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