Home high-flow therapy after AECOPD: results of the UK feasibility study

Can HFT improve clinical, patient-reported and physiological outcomes in patients recovering from severe COPD exacerbation? Dr D’Cruz presents the results of a recent feasibility study.
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Key facts



Exacerbations manifest to patients as increased burdens of breathlessness, cough, and thick, tenacious sputum that can be difficult to clear. They are distressing for patients, may result in hospitalisation, and tend to become more frequent as COPD progresses.

To explore whether HFT is able to improve clinical, patient-reported and physiological outcomes in COPD patients recovering from severe exacerbations, Dr D’Cruz performed a mixed method, feasibility, randomised control trial in a group of home-based patients from 40 to 80 years old who had a smoking history of more than 10 packs per year, a BMI of less than 35, and no need for acute NIV or established respiratory support at home. The study cohort had an annual exacerbation frequency of four.

As Dr D’Cruz explains, the study revealed how patients choose to interact with HFT when they are given relatively free rein to set their usage levels. It also provided useful qualitative insights into device acceptability and usability, the opportunity cost and coherence of HFT therapy for patients, and its perceived effectiveness, particularly with regard to sputum production and clearance. A multicentre randomised controlled trial is now in the pipeline.

Register to watch the webinar to hear Dr D’Cruz explain the study protocol and discuss her findings.


Dr Rebecca D'Cruz

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, UK

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