High-flow nasal cannula in the treatment of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure in a pregnant patient: case report

ABSTRACT Little evidence exists to support the use of noninvasive mechanical ventilation for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. However, considering the complications associated with endotracheal intubation, we attempted to implement noninvasive mechanical ventilation in a 24-year-old patient who was 32 weeks pregnant and was admitted to the intensive care unit with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure and sepsis secondary to a urinary tract infection. Lack of tolerance to noninvasive mechanical ventilation led us to use an alternative method to avoid endotracheal intubation. The use of high-flow nasal cannula allowed to overcome this situation, wich supports this technique as a treatment option for critical obstetric patients that is safe for both the mother and fetus.