Early case series have suggested that 20%–31% of COVID-19 patients will develop acute respiratory distress syndrome and require intensive care, potentially causing a nationwide shortage of mechanical ventilators. We present a review of the high-flow nasal cannula which presents several physiological benefits in acute respiratory failure. It is a safe treatment modality with low risk of exposure to aerosolized viral particles for health-care workers in the setting of negative-pressure or high-efficiency particulate air-filtered rooms and proper personal protective equipment.
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