Predictive factors of high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy failure in children with respiratory distress treated in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Aydın O., Aydın E. A., BİRBİLEN A. Z., TEKŞAM Ö.

Turkish Journal of Pediatrics, vol.63, no.6, pp.1012-1019, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.24953/turkjped.2021.06.009
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Pediatrics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1012-1019
  • Keywords: Children, High-flow nasal cannula, Respiratory distress, Respiratory support
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background. High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) is widely used as a feasible and tolerable respiratory support method. However, patients should be closely monitored, especially when used with moderate-severe respiratory distress indications. Because these patients can easily develop respiratory failure and escalated care may be required. The aim of this study is to determine the predictive factors in patients treated with HFNC who received escalated respiratory support for HFNC failure. Methods. A retrospective study of patients admitted with respiratory distress and treated with HFNC therapy between January 2014 and December 2018 was carried out. The variables evaluated were age, gender, vital signs before and two hours post HFNC therapy, underlying disease, use of steroid, salbutamol and antibiotic therapy, blood gase analysis and lactate values, hospitalization in pediatric intensive care unit, respiratory viral panel and need for escalation of respiratory support. HFNC failure was identified requiring noninvasive or invasive respiratory support despite HFNC therapy. Results. 243 patients receiving HFNC therapy were included in this study. The median age was 11 months [interquartile range(IQR) 5–27]. The diagnosis of 183 patients (75.3%) were acute bronchiolitis and 60 patients (24.7%) were pneumonia. Of 243 patients, 29 (%11.9) received escalated care. 22 invasive and 7 non-invasive respiratory supports were provided. The lower pH on admission was found in the non-responder group. Moreover, heart rate and respiratory rate did not decrease two hours after HFNC therapy. Conclusions. The careful monitoring of patients receiving HFNC therapy is critical. Because these patients are at risk for needing escalated care. We found that low pH values on admission and high pulse rate and respiratory rate observed at the second hour of follow-up period could be predictive factors for HFNC failure.