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An Pediatr (Barc). 2013 Apr;78(4):210-5. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2012.11.024. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

[Clinical impact of introducing ventilation with high flow oxygen in the treatment of bronchiolitis in a paediatric ward].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Pediatría, Sección de Pediatría Lactantes, Hospital Infantil Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, España.



To analyse the safety and efficacy of high-flow oxygen therapy for treatment of moderate to severe bronchiolitis in children admitted to the paediatric hospital wards.


A prospective observational study was conducted on children < 18 months of age with bronchiolitis admitted to the paediatric ward of a tertiary-care teaching hospital during the 2011-12 respiratory season. Children were treated with a high-flow ventilation system (Fisher & Paykel). Clinical and cardio-respiratory parameters were evaluated every hour for the duration of therapy.


A total of 25 patients, with a median age of 2 months (range: 0.6-11 months) were included. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was positive in 75% of cases. Indications for high-flow therapy included: progressive respiratory distress (Wood-Downes ≥ 8) (88%), apnoea (8%) and desaturation (4%). Median duration of therapy was 4 days (range: 3-7 days), with a median of 9 days in hospital (range: 8-12 days). High flow therapy was associated with a significant decrease in cardio-respiratory parameters, heart rate, respiratory rate, which resulted in a significant improvement of the Wood-Downes Score (from 10±1.21 to 3±0.77, P=.001). No adverse effects were observed. Five patients (20%) were admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which represents an 80% reduction of PICU admissions compared with historic data of previous years.


High-flow ventilation therapy achieved a significant improvement in heart rate, respiratory rate, and scale of severity in patients with bronchiolitis. This novel therapeutic strategy allows safe management of bronchiolitis patients in the regular ward, reducing admissions to the PICU.

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