Curr Opin Crit Care. 2021 Feb 1;27(1):60-65. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000785.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: High-flow nasal oxygen and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) are two strategies representing an alternative to standard oxygen in the management of respiratory failure.
RECENT FINDINGS: Although high-flow nasal oxygen has shown promising results in patients with de-novo acute respiratory failure, further large clinical trials are needed to determine the best oxygenation strategy. As NIV may have deleterious effects, especially in patients generating strong inspiratory efforts, protective NIV using higher levels of positive-end expiratory pressure, more prolonged sessions and additional interfaces such as helmets should be assessed in the future. Whereas NIV is the first-line ventilation strategy in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic lung diseases, high-flow nasal oxygen could be an alternative to NIV after partial reversal of respiratory acidosis. To prevent severe hypoxemia during intubation of hypoxemic patients or to prevent postextubation respiratory failure in patients at high-risk of reintubation, NIV is the best strategy for preoxygenation or immediately after extubation in ICUs.
SUMMARY: New large-scale clinical trials are needed to compare high-flow nasal oxygen with standard oxygen in patients with de-novo acute respiratory failure to determine the reference treatment. After which, more protective NIV could be assessed among the more severe patients.