Using heated humidified high-flow nasal cannulas for premature infants may result in an underestimated amount of water reaching the airways

Eran Reiner, Nili Stein, Avi Rotschild, Tzipi Gashi, Haim Bibi, Dan Waisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Condensation often occurs when providing humidified respiratory support. We examined conditions conducive to excess water formation in heated humified high-flow nasal cannula (HHHFNC). Methods: An HHHFNC device, at 35 or 37°C, was attached with a nasal cannula to a reservoir and tested in five ambient conditions and flows. For Group A, tubing and collection bottle remained at room temperature (23°C). Group B, tubing and reservoir remained inside an incubator (31°C). Group C, tubing and reservoir remained at 33°C. In Group D, the HHHFNC was set to 35°C, the reservoir remained at 33°C, and the nasal cannula and tubing remained at 23°C. Group E, same as D, with HHHFNC at 37°C. Results: The largest amounts of collected water were in groups A and E. Both had highest temperature differences. Median (range) was 4.9°C (4.1–6.9) and 4.0°C, collecting 38.4 (26.4–50.4) and 26.4 (19.2–50.4) ml/24 h, respectively. Smallest amounts of water were seen with lower temperature differences as in groups B, C, and D with 2.7 (1.9–4.7), 1.6 (1.2–2.1), and 2.0°C with 8.4 (0.0–33.6), 2.4 (0.0–14.4), and 9.6 (4.8–16.8) ml/24 h, respectively. Conclusion: HHHFNC devices may produce clinically significant amounts of water reaching the upper airways. This may be prevented with appropriate device set-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1482
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume110
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula
  • high-flow nasal cannula
  • premature newborn infant
  • respiratory support
  • vapour condensation
  • water formation

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