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What is a high flow nasal cannula used for?

A high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) is used to provide a high flow of warm and humidified oxygen supply. It is a medical device that delivers oxygen through the nose and is commonly used to treat the following conditions:


  1. Acute respiratory infections: Such as pneumonia, influenza, etc.
  2. Chronic respiratory diseases: Like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchial asthma, etc.
  3. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS): A severe condition causing gas exchange difficulties in the lungs.
  4. COVID-19 infection: HFNC has been widely used in the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19.
  5. Post-surgical recovery: It can assist patients in regaining their respiratory function after surgery.
  6. Other situations requiring high-concentration oxygen: Such as low oxygen saturation levels, respiratory distress, etc.


The advantages of a high flow nasal cannula include its ability to provide a high concentration of oxygen and its warm and humidified features, which reduce irritation and dryness in the respiratory tract. This makes it more tolerable for patients, especially those requiring long-term oxygen therapy. However, the specific usage and treatment plan should be determined based on medical guidance and individual patient needs.