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Less invasive COVID therapy frees up hospital staff and ventilator equipment

Posted at 9:29 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 23:26:39-05

TULSA, Okla. — One of the medical fields getting much more attention during the pandemic is pulmonology, a study of the respiratory system.

Frontline workers in that field are short on ventilators in some places, but there is a less invasive breathing therapy that helps save equipment and hospital bed space.

Nasal high flow therapy or NHF can help mild to slightly moderate COVID-19 patients.

“This is a lot easier setup,” explained Megan Kelley, Ascension pulmonary specialist in Tulsa. “A patient can still eat. They can still talk on the phone. They can have that connection with their loved ones. It is becoming much more commonplace to try these intermediate therapies versus going straight to a ventilator, which frees up ventilators and frees up staff.”

NHF is a noninvasive oxygen delivery system, and helps with other severe respiratory illnesses like the flu.

Other hospitals in Oklahoma that are providing the NHF therapy include Hillcrest Healthcare System, Saint Francis Health System, and INTEGRIS Health.

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