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Nasal high flow: going viral?
  1. Brett J Manley1,2
  1. 1Neonatal Services and Newborn Research Centre, The Royal Women's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Brett J Manley, Newborn Research Centre, The Royal Women's Hospital, Level 7, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052 Australia; brett.manley{at}thewomens.org.au

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Like sneezing baby pandas, ice bucket challenges and Susan Boyle, nasal high-flow (nHF) use in neonatology is ‘going viral’.

One can only hope that the Archives servers have sufficient capacity to cope with the increased traffic that the article on nHF use in the delivery room by Reynolds and colleagues1 is sure to generate.

Humidified, heated, nHF devices have been commercially available for more than a decade. Over that time, the use of nHF to treat preterm infants around the world has dramatically increased as it has been perceived as an easier-to-use, gentler, alternative ‘non-invasive’ support to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). For example, in 2013 in the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network, 24% of all tertiary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) registrants received nHF, a marked increase from about 8% in 2009.2 In this cohort, nHF use was predominantly in very preterm infants born <30 weeks gestation: about 60% of this group received nHF during their hospital admission. Anecdotally, some tertiary NICUs around the world have replaced CPAP with HF as their preferred mode of respiratory support for preterm infants.

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