• Curr Opin Crit Care · Feb 2022

    Review

    Noninvasive respiratory support for acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

    • Luca S Menga, Cecilia Berardi, Ersilia Ruggiero, Domenico Luca Grieco, and Massimo Antonelli.
    • Istituto di Anestesiologia e Rianimazione, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.
    • Curr Opin Crit Care. 2022 Feb 1; 28 (1): 25-50.

    Purpose Of ReviewNoninvasive respiratory support has been widely applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. We provide a narrative review on the benefits and possible harms of noninvasive respiratory support for COVID-19 respiratory failure.Recent FindingsMaintenance of spontaneous breathing by means of noninvasive respiratory support in hypoxemic patients with vigorous spontaneous effort carries the risk of patient self-induced lung injury: the benefit of averting intubation in successful patients should be balanced with the harms of a worse outcome in patients who are intubated after failing a trial of noninvasive support.The risk of noninvasive treatment failure is greater in patients with the most severe oxygenation impairment (PaO2/FiO2 < 200 mmHg).High-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) is the most widely applied intervention in COVID-19 patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure. Also, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and continuous positive airway pressure delivered with different interfaces have been used with variable success rates. A single randomized trial showed lower need for intubation in patients receiving helmet NIV with specific settings, compared to HFNO alone.Prone positioning is recommended for moderate-to-severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients on invasive ventilation. Awake prone position has been frequently applied in COVID-19 patients: one randomized trial showed improved oxygenation and lower intubation rate in patients receiving 6-h sessions of awake prone positioning, as compared to conventional management.SummaryNoninvasive respiratory support and awake prone position are tools possibly capable of averting endotracheal intubation in COVID-19 patients; carefully monitoring during any treatment is warranted to avoid delays in endotracheal intubation, especially in patients with PaO2/FiO2 < 200 mmHg.Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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