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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0004-0584On-line version ISSN 1688-1249


MOROSINI, Fabiana et al. High-flow nasal cannula therapy in children with severe asthma exacerbations in a pediatric emergency department. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2017, vol.88, n.3, pp.142-148. ISSN 0004-0584.


high flow nasal cannula is used for the treatment of acute respiratory failure in infants, although there are few publications referred to older children in the Emergency Department. HFNC has been used at the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) of Pereira Rossell Hospital since 2013, in infants with bronchial obstruction. Recent research has found it may be recommended for children of all ages.


to describe the experience in the use of HFNC in patients older than 2 years old, when they presented moderate and severe asthma exacerbation episodes at the in Pediatric Emergency Department of Pereira Rossell Hospital.


descriptive, retrospective study including children older than 2 years old with asthma exacerbations treated with HFNC, at the in Pediatric Emergency Department of Pereira Rossell Hospital between 06/01/13 - 08/31/16. The severity of acute asthma was evaluated with the Pediatric Asthma Score (severe being > 11, and moderate from 8 to 11). Fisher Paykel CNAF equipment was used up to 70 L/min.


78 patients (41 female): Moderate exacerbation 34; severe 44. PAS: median 11 (9-14). Maximum flow: median 30L/m (12 - 60). HFNC in PED: median 15 h (1-46). HFNC as the only respiratory support: 42; non- invasive ventilation: 33. MVA: 3 patients. 1 patient: hypertensive pneumothorax in x-ray performed after the initiation of HNFC. No deaths recorded.


HNFC was a simple and accessible therapy for the initial treatment of children older than 2 years old with acute respiratory failure. Oxygen flows of 2 L/k/min were used and no complications arose. It was the only respiratory support in half of these children. Its early indication in progressive treatment of acute asthma has increased. HNFC should now be included in protocols for management of asthma exacerbations.

Keywords : Oxygen inhalation therapy; Asthma; Respiratory insufficiency.

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