Newer method of oxygen delivery for patients after surgery

18 May 2015

A new, easier to implement and better-tolerated method to provide supplemental oxygen to patients who are at risk of respiratory failure after surgery has been developed, according to a new study.

The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that the new method did not result in a worse rate of treatment failure compared to a more commonly used method.

Being presented at the American Thoracic Society 2015 International Conference, the study randomly assigned 830 patients who had undergone cardiothoracic surgery to get high-flow nasal oxygen therapy delivered continuously through a nasal cannula or bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) delivered with a full-face mask for at least four hours a day.

After cardiothoracic surgery, acute respiratory failure is common so noninvasive ventilation is often used to avoid reintubation and improve outcomes. However, this technique is difficult to implement, requires substantial resources, and can cause discomfort to the patient.

The team found that the newer high-flow nasal oxygen therapy was not inferior to BiPAP: with BiPAP, while there were no significant differences were found for intensive care unit mortality.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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