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High flow humidified nasal oxygen in pregnant women

Department of Anaesthesia, The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria

Summary

Failed airway management in the obstetric patient undergoing general anaesthesia is associated with major sequelae for the mother and/or fetus. Effective and adequate pre-oxygenation is an important safety strategy and a recommendation in all current major airway guidelines. Pre-oxygenation practice in the obstetric population may be suboptimal based on current literature. Recently, clinical applications for high flow nasal oxygen, also known as transnasal humidified rapid insufflation ventilatory exchange or THRIVE, are expanding in the non-obstetric population and may have theoretical benefits if used for pre-oxygenation and apnoeic oxygenation in the obstetric population. We review the current literature surrounding high flow nasal oxygen relevant to the pregnant woman. We also propose a basis for potential advantages and complications for its use in this context.

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