High-Flow Nasal Cannula: For COVID-19 Second Wave Preparations, Forget About Ventilators, Doctors Are Now Turning To High-Flow Nasal Cannula
High-Flow Nasal Cannula
: Clinical treatment of COVID-19 has been a medical nightmare for front-line doctors largely learning about the disease in real-time without proven protocols. During the first crush of COVID-19, doctors around the world relied heavily on ventilators for mechanical ventilation to rescue oxygen-starved patients.
Patients with COVID-19 can struggle to get enough oxygen due to the severe lung damage caused by the virus. Mechanical ventilation offers breathing support via a tube placed down the windpipe into the lungs.
However as physicians got a crash course in the new COVID-19 disease, their stance on ventilators began to evolve.
These days ventilators are advocated for the most severe cases where complete assisted breathing is necessary. But a less intrusive form of oxygen delivery known as “high-flow nasal cannula
” is showing positive results.
In the initial days of COVID-19 pandemic, early ventilator use was considered a best practice, the complexity of the disease made ventilator use challenging.
But despite doctors’ best efforts, survival statistics for COVID-19 patients on ventilators told a grim story: only about a third survived, according to the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre.
With growing studies and patient data from around the world, the approach to COVID-19 respiratory failure evolved and using a ventilator early fell out of favor.
The most important part of practicing good medicine is to follow the science and being flexible to change when the data shows it will save lives.
HFNC or High-flow nasal cannula
was already available and started to show positive results. It’s breathing support system that delivers oxygen at a high flow rate and it soon became the preferred first choice of the Society for Critical Care Medicine. An HFNC device straps around the head and inserts a plastic prong into each nostril through which oxygen flows, quite different from mechanical ventilation that pushes air directly into the lungs.
Although high-flow nasal cannula
cannot completely take over a person’s breathing like a ventilator, it’s less invasive, has fewer dangerous complications and is sometimes enough breathing support for a patient to recover.
A study of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in Chongqing, China, showed that high-flow nasal cannula was highly effective and managed to get majority of patients to avoid ventilator use.
The research findings were published in the journal: Annals Of Intensive Care https://annalsofintensivecare.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s13613-020-00653-z
The new shift away from early ventilator use was a timely development as national ventilator shortages became critical. But some manufacturers of high-flow nasal cannula faced a dilemma.
Healthcare facilities and hospitals around the world were suddenly ordering high flow nasal cannula
and manufacturers struggled to keep up with sudden worldwide demand.
One company that manufactures high-flow nasal cannula units told Thailand Medical News, “We were just inundated.”
As COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising globally, the possibility of a second wave on the horizon, high-flow nasal cannula
manufacturers are preparing.
Another manufacturer of high-flow nasal cannula says on its website that the need for its devices is at an “all-time high” and that “additional manufacturing capacity has been added and our production facilities are now running 24/7.”
Meanwhile one major supplier of High-Flow Nasal Cannula
, is expanding its US facility to scale up manufacturing capacity to 24 times pre-COVID-19 levels, creating up to 360 new jobs.
It just entered a US$10 million blanket purchase agreement with the U.S Department of Defense to supply high-flow nasal cannula units to the nation’s 52 Department of Defense hospitals as the government itself is anticipating a real bad second wave.
Many Government agencies around the world are preparing for a second wave which they say will be inevitable and is going to be worse. High-Flow Nasal Cannulas
and also high performance oxygen concentrators
will be useful items to start stockpiling now.
For more about ordering High-Flow Nasal Cannula
devices and high-performance oxygen concentrators, contact us at Thailand Medical News. We only reply to official email accounts. We do not reply to gmail, hotmail or other anonymous emails.
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