Pankaj Nigam
Director, International Sales and Marketing,
Shenyang RMS Medical Tech Co. Ltd.

High-Flow Nasal Cannula

A high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) is a device used to provide extra oxygen to a patient or person in need of respiratory help. High-flow nasal cannula contains a lightweight tube, which then separates into two prongs; these separated prongs are placed in the nostrils of the patient, from which a mixture of air and oxygen flows. One end of the tube is attached to an oxygen supply, such as a portable oxygen generator. This cannula is normally attached to the patient by the tube hooking around the patient’s ears or by an elastic headband. Nasal cannula supplies oxygen in a flexible manner, which means the supply of oxygen depends upon the patient’s breathing rate and pattern. The benefit of the nasal cannula for the patients, who are having chronic stable respiratory problems, is that they can eat, talk, and drink while using it and also, it reduces the risk of carbon dioxide rebreathing.

Medical uses. High-flow therapy is useful in patients that are spontaneously breathing, but have an increased work of breathing. Conditions, such as general respiratory failure, asthma exacerbation, COPD exacerbation, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure, are all possible situations where high-flow therapy may be indicated.

Newborn babies. High-flow therapy has shown to be useful in neonatal intensive-care settings for premature infants, with infant respiratory distress syndrome, as it prevents many infants from needing artificial ventilation via intubation, and allows safe respiratory management at lower FiO2 levels, and thus reduces the risk of retinopathy of prematurity and oxygen toxicity. Due to the decreased stress of effort needed to breathe, the neonatal body is able to spend more time utilizing metabolic efforts elsewhere, which causes decreased days on a mechanical ventilator, faster weight gain, and overall decreased hospital stay entirely. High-flow therapy has been successfully implemented in infants and older children. The cannula improves the respiratory distress, oxygen saturation, and the patient’s comfort. Its mechanism of action is the application of mild positive airway pressure and lung-volume recruitment.

High-flow market overview. Numerous factors are driving growth in the global high-flow nasal cannula market. At the forefront is the ever-increasing number of respiratory disorders. Besides, soaring popularity and uptake of heated humidified high-flow nasal cannulas and increasing investments in research and development programs by companies to come up with better products leveraging more sophisticated technologies is also positively impacting sales. A noticeable trend in the market is the focus of local players on cost-effective products. Application-wise, the key segments of the global high-flow nasal cannula market are acute respiratory failure, acute heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), carbon monoxide toxicity, sleep apnea, bronchiectasis, etc. The acute respiratory failure segment, of them, held a major share in the market in 2019. It was followed by COPD segment.

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