Evaluation Background: High-Flow Oxygen Therapy Units

August 3, 2023 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background for our Evaluations of high-flow oxygen therapy units, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. Learn how the technology is used, which specs are important, and what factors we test for. Also review our latest product ratings and ECRI's data describing hospitals' interest in each vendor.

High-flow oxygen therapy (HFOT) systems are commonly used to treat acute respiratory distress (e.g., due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD) in spontaneously breathing patients. Recently, HFOT has been used to treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

HFOT is intended to:

  1. Eliminate most of the anatomic dead space

  2. Create a reservoir with high fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) in the nasal cavity

  3. Improve gas exchange

  4. Significantly reduce the work of breathing

An HFOT unit is capable of delivering up to 100% humidified and...

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