Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Adult nursing
Oxygen supplementation above a low-flow nasal cannula in patients with COVID-19 may improve arterial oxygen levels but not breathlessness
  1. Jay Prakash1,
  2. Nishant Sahay2
  1. 1 Department of Critical Care Medicine, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
  2. 2 Department of Anesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jay Prakash, Critical Care Medicine, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, Jharkhand 834009, India; dr.jay_prakash{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Commentary on: Poncin W, Baudet L, Braem F, Reychler G, Duprez F, Liistro G, Belkhir L, Yombi JC, De Greef J. Systems on top of nasal cannula improve oxygen delivery in patients with COVID-19: a randomized controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med 2022;37(5):1226–32. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07419-2. Epub 8 Feb 2022.

Implications for practice and research

  • The adverse consequences of continuous exposure to high concentrations of oxygen must be considered before instituting prolonged oxygen therapy in patients with COVID-19.

  • Hypoxaemia is significant in patients with COVID-19, and isolated arterial oxygen pressure (PaO2) improvement may not necessarily translate into any significant survival benefit nor relieve the distress of breathlessness.


Oxygen therapy is important in COVID-19 management. The low-flow nasal cannula (NC) has some drawbacks. The patient’s peak inspiratory flow rate requirements are not met due to significant leakage around the source. A need to improve oxygen delivery with easy-to-perform …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.