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Patient comfort during treatment with heated humidified high flow nasal cannulae versus nasal continuous positive airway pressure: a randomised cross-over trial
  1. Claus Klingenberg1,2,
  2. Marit Pettersen1,
  3. Elin A Hansen1,
  4. Linn J Gustavsen1,
  5. Ingvild A Dahl1,
  6. Arild Leknessund1,
  7. Per I Kaaresen1,2,
  8. Marianne Nordhov1,2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  2. 2Paediatric Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claus Klingenberg, Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø N-9038, Norway; claus.klingenberg{at}


Objective To compare patient comfort in preterm infants treated with heated humidified high flow nasal cannulae (HHHFNC) versus nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP).

Design Randomised cross-over trial (2×24 h).

Setting Single tertiary neonatal unit.

Patients 20 infants less than 34 weeks postmenstrual age treated with NCPAP due to mild respiratory illness.

Interventions After parental consent, infants were randomised to 24 h of treatment with NCPAP or HHHFNC followed by 24 h of the alternate therapy.

Main outcome measures Primary outcome was patient comfort assessed by the EDIN (neonatal pain and discomfort) scale. Secondary outcomes were respiratory parameters (respiratory rate, FiO2, SpO2, TcPCO2), ambient noise, salivary cortisol and parental assessments of their child.

Results We found no differences between HHHFNC and NCPAP in mean cumulative EDIN score (10.7 vs 11.1, p=0.25) or ambient noise (70 vs 74 dBa, p=0.18). Parents assessed HHHFNC treatment as significantly better in the three domains, 1) child satisfied, 2) parental contact and interaction and 3) possibility to take part in care. Mean respiratory rate over 24 h was lower during HHHFNC than CPAP (41 vs 46, p=0.001). Other respiratory parameters were similar.

Conclusions Using EDIN scale, we found no difference in patient comfort with HHHFNC versus NCPAP. However, parents preferred HHHFNC, and during HHHFNC respiratory rate was lower than during NCPAP., number NCT01526226.

  • Neonatology
  • Patient perspective
  • Respiratory
  • Intensive Care

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