Curr Opin Crit Care. 2023 Feb 1;29(1):8-13. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000001008. Epub 2022 Dec 9.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Invasive mechanical ventilation is a lifesaving intervention for patients with severe acute hypoxic respiratory failure (AHRF), but it is associated with neuromuscular, cognitive, and infectious complications. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) may provide sufficient respiratory support without these complications. The helmet interface for NIV could address concerns raised for the use of NIV as first-line therapy in AHRF. This review will summarize and appraise the current evidence for helmet NIV in AHRF.
RECENT FINDINGS: There are only six randomized controlled trials comparing helmet NIV to standard nasal cannula, facemask NIV, or high-flow nasal oxygen in patients with AHRF. Lower rates of endotracheal intubations and fewer days of mechanical ventilation were reported, with inconsistent findings on patient survival. Facemask NIV may worsen preexisting lung injury, delay intubations, and be inferior at delivering lung protective ventilation strategies compared with mechanical ventilation. The helmet interface could circumvent some of these concerns through the delivery of higher positive end expiratory pressure and more uniform distribution of negative pleural pressure.
SUMMARY: There is limited evidence to support or refute the use of helmet NIV in AHRF. Further studies investigating the interface of helmet in NIV as a separate clinical entity are needed.