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      Surgical mask on top of high-flow nasal cannula improves oxygenation in critically ill COVID-19 patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure


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          Critically ill patients admitted in ICU because of COVID-19 infection display severe hypoxemic respiratory failure. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends oxygenation through high-flow nasal cannula over non-invasive ventilation. The primary outcome of our study was to evaluate the effect of the addition of a surgical mask on a high-flow nasal cannula system on oxygenation parameters in hypoxemic COVID-19 patients admitted in ICU who do not require urgent intubation. The secondary outcomes were relevant changes in PaCO 2 associated with clinical modifications and patient’s feelings.


          We prospectively assessed 21 patients admitted in our mixed Intensive Care Unit of the Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc.

          Main results

          While FiO2 was unchanged, we demonstrate a significant increase of PaO 2 (from 59 (± 6), to 79 mmHg (± 16), p < 0.001), PaO 2/FiO 2 from 83 (± 22), to 111 (± 38), p < 0.001) and SaO 2 (from 91% (± 1.5), to 94% (± 1.6), p < 0.001), while the patients were under the surgical mask. The SpO 2 returned to pre-treatment values when the surgical mask was removed confirming the effect of the device rather than a spontaneous positive evolution.


          A surgical mask placed on patient’s face already treated by a High-flow nasal cannula device improves COVID-19 patient’s oxygenation admitted in Intensive Care Unit for severe hypoxemic respiratory failure without any clinically relevant side.

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          Most cited references12

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          Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China: Summary of a Report of 72 314 Cases From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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            World Health Organization declares global emergency: A review of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

            An unprecedented outbreak of pneumonia of unknown aetiology in Wuhan City, Hubei province in China emerged in December 2019. A novel coronavirus was identified as the causative agent and was subsequently termed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Considered a relative of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), COVID-19 is caused by a betacoronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 that affects the lower respiratory tract and manifests as pneumonia in humans. Despite rigorous global containment and quarantine efforts, the incidence of COVID-19 continues to rise, with 90,870 laboratory-confirmed cases and over 3,000 deaths worldwide. In response to this global outbreak, we summarise the current state of knowledge surrounding COVID-19.
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              Surviving Sepsis Campaign: guidelines on the management of critically ill adults with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

              Background The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of a rapidly spreading illness, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), affecting thousands of people around the world. Urgent guidance for clinicians caring for the sickest of these patients is needed. Methods We formed a panel of 36 experts from 12 countries. All panel members completed the World Health Organization conflict of interest disclosure form. The panel proposed 53 questions that are relevant to the management of COVID-19 in the ICU. We searched the literature for direct and indirect evidence on the management of COVID-19 in critically ill patients in the ICU. We identified relevant and recent systematic reviews on most questions relating to supportive care. We assessed the certainty in the evidence using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach, then generated recommendations based on the balance between benefit and harm, resource and cost implications, equity, and feasibility. Recommendations were either strong or weak, or in the form of best practice recommendations. Results The Surviving Sepsis Campaign COVID-19 panel issued 54 statements, of which 4 are best practice statements, 9 are strong recommendations, and 35 are weak recommendations. No recommendation was provided for 6 questions. The topics were: (1) infection control, (2) laboratory diagnosis and specimens, (3) hemodynamic support, (4) ventilatory support, and (5) COVID-19 therapy. Conclusion The Surviving Sepsis Campaign COVID-19 panel issued several recommendations to help support healthcare workers caring for critically ill ICU patients with COVID-19. When available, we will provide new recommendations in further releases of these guidelines. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s00134-020-06022-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

                Author and article information

                Ann Intensive Care
                Annals of Intensive Care
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                29 September 2020
                29 September 2020
                : 10
                : 125
                [1 ]GRID grid.48769.34, ISNI 0000 0004 0461 6320, Intensive Care Unit, , Cliniques Universitaires Saint‐Luc, UCLouvain, ; 10 avenue Hippocrate, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
                [2 ]GRID grid.7942.8, ISNI 0000 0001 2294 713X, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, , Pôle Epidémiologie et Biostatistique, ; UCLouvain, Belgium
                [3 ]GRID grid.48769.34, ISNI 0000 0004 0461 6320, Intensive Care Unit, , Cliniques Universitaires Saint‐Luc and Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Cliniques (IREC), Pôle de Pneumologie ORL et Dermatologie (PNEU), ; UCLouvain, Belgium
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 13 May 2020
                : 18 September 2020
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Emergency medicine & Trauma
                hypoxemic failure,high-flow nasal cannula,covid-19 patient
                Emergency medicine & Trauma
                hypoxemic failure, high-flow nasal cannula, covid-19 patient


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