Around 600 million people worldwide suffer from it, in Germany it is estimated that there are three to five million. Patients often experience an acute deterioration in their condition and need to be ventilated in hospitals. Mask ventilation is the therapy of first choice today.
“Unfortunately, around 15 to 30 percent of patients cannot cope with the masks and the so-called BiPAP machines in this relatively stressful situation. For a number of years there has been an alternative and differently functioning possibility of respiratory support, the nasal high flow,” says project manager Prof. Hubert Wirtz, Professor of Pneumology at the University of Leipzig. This is a strong, warmed and humidified flow of air that is blown into the nose via open, soft probes. It only slightly increases the pressure in the lungs and quickly removes the exhaled carbon dioxide. “Thus, breathing becomes much more efficient and can be reduced in scope. That means less work and energy expenditure for the organism and an improvement in the critical situation,” adds Wirtz.
The nasal high flow was recognized as helpful. The research group led by Prof. Wirtz recently published a multi-centre study on the treatment of chronically ill COPD patients and showed that in the chronic situation the effect of nasal high flow is comparable to that of mask ventilation. "With the nasal high flow, however, you can participate in social life, talk, have a drink, etc., and we observe a better quality of life than with the masks on the face," says the project manager. In the study that has now been approved, non-invasive mask ventilation or nasal high flow are used in a randomized manner at 35 centers in Germany in the event of an acute deterioration in the condition. The researchers register the rate of intubations and other events that are still necessary.
Source: Notification from the University of Leipzig from April 07.04.2020th, XNUMX