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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

High-flow Nasal Cannulation

A Non-invasive Resuscitation Therapy for COVID-19 Patients

Overview

High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) therapy is a type of oxygen therapy that is less invasive than mechanical ventilation and has shown clinical utility in treating severe and critical COVID-19 patients.  There are several considerations for healthcare providers exploring this type of therapy for COVID-19 infections:

  • Ensuring careful patient selection and leveraging institutional experience in using HFNC and non-invasive ventilation to ensure optimal patient outcomes
  • Enhancing personal protective equipment and environmental controls to minimize potential risk of bio-aerosol dispersion and subsequent increased nosocomial transmission
  • Ensuring sufficient device manufacturing parameters, such as safe interfaces and viral-proof circuitry monitoring and other safety features to optimize the mechanisms of action and utility

It is important to note that there are some clinical concerns with HFNC around aerosolization, and some facilities use life pods (plastic bubbles that covers patients head and shoulders) or negative pressure isolation rooms.

Ventec V+Pro Ventilator for HFNC Therapy

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) currently is procuring 30,000 HFNC kits for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) that can allow its GM/Ventec V+Pro ventilators to provide this type of therapy. This is the only ventilator model in the SNS with this potential capability. As part of the COVID-19 ventilator acquisition, the SNS now holds 30,000 Ventec V+Pro ventilators that will be paired 1:1 with these new HFNC kits.

To allow for HFNC capabilities, the Ventec V+Pro requires several additional ancillary supplies and consumable items, and these components can be mounted on the stand provided with the ventilator. Each kit contains enough consumables for five weeks.

The manufacturer recommends its HFNC kit to provide optimal functionality for the Ventec V+Pro to offer this type of therapy. Learn more about technical assistance related to these kits.

Request Process

Healthcare facilities in need of HFNC equipment should work through public health officials in their states, territories, tribal nations or large metropolitan areas to request federal assistance through the normal processes. If the request is approved, the ASPR will direct the SNS to deploy the needed supplies to the public health authority, which is then responsible for distributing to the facilities in need.

Public health authorities in need of assistance should contact their ASPR Regional Emergency Coordinator who can help facilitate this request. Learn more on how to request supplies from the SNS.


  • This page last reviewed: August 12, 2021