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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

versión impresa ISSN 0004-0584versión On-line ISSN 1688-1249


PINCHAK, Catalina et al. Use of high flow nasal cannula in hospitalized children with acute respiratory infections. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2019, vol.90, n.5, pp.257-269.  Epub 01-Oct-2019. ISSN 0004-0584.


acute lower respiratory infections (LRTI) are the leading cause of hospitalization in children under 2 years of age. High-Flow Oxygen (HFO) is a highly effective method to prevent invasive ventilation, even for patients under 6 months of age, the highest-risk group.


to present our experience and results for patients under 2 years of age with LRTI and moderate or severe respiratory distress treated with HFO and to analyze the subgroup of patients that needed to be transferred to other hospital units to continue their treatment.

Patients and method:

patients under 2 years of age with LRTI and respiratory failure who required HFO were included in a prospective observational study carried out between June 1 and August 31, 2015 at the Inpatient Area of the Pediatric Hospital, Centro Hospitalario Pereira Rossell (PH/CHPR), Montevideo, Uruguay.


125 patients were included. 47 girls and 78 boys with a median age of 3 months (16 days-24 months). 53% of them were RSVs positive. The median connection time was 69 hours (Range 4 -192). The median for the modified TAL score was 7 (Range 5-9) and 5 (Range 3-8) before connection and 2 hours later respectively. HFO resulted into a significant reduction of heart rate. No adverse effects or complications were observed. 38% (n = 47) of patients were transferred to intensive care or special acute respiratory care but just a 36% (n = 17) of them needed mechanical ventilation and 25.5% (n = 12) needed non-invasive ventilation (NIV); the remaining 18 patients continued receiving HFO. Patients under 3 months of age needed to be transferred to ICU more often than older ones (p = 0.0036)


the HFO technique could be implemented without complications in pediatric units. 62% of patients did not need additional respiratory support. Patients under 3 months of age needed to be transferred to Intensive Care more often than older patients.

Palabras clave : Bronchiolitis; Oxygen inhalation therapy; Cannula; Respiratory insufficiency.

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