Background and aims Nasal high frequency oscillation ventilation (nHFOV) is a non-invasive ventilation mode that applies an oscillatory pressure waveform to the airways using a nasal interface. NHFOV has been shown to facilitate carbon dioxide expiration, but there are little data about its use in neonates. Therefore, the aim of this survey was to collect data about nHFOV use in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
Methods From June 2013 to February 2014, we conducted a prospective survey in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. A 26-item questionnaire was sent to NICUs who provide the highest level of care. We asked for indications to start nHFOV, equipment used, nHFOV settings and observed side effects.
Results Of all contacted NICUs, 172/186 (92%) participated. Among those responding, 30/172 (17%) used nHFOV, most frequently in premature infants O2, the maximum pressure 10[7–18] cm H2O, and pressure before switching to nCPAP 7,5[5–15] cm H2O. The typical nHFOV frequency was 10[6–13] Hz. Abdominal distension (11/30), highly viscous secretions (7/30) and upper airway obstruction due to such secretions (8/30) were the most common nHFOV side effects.
Conclusion Based on individual experience, a number of European NICUs use nHFOV. There are substantial differences in nHFOV equipment, indications and settings. New clinical studies are needed to further investigate the risks and benefits of nHFOV in neonates.