Prolonged non-invasive respiratory support in a COVID-19 patient with severe acute hypoxemic respiratory failure
A pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 was declared in 2020. Severe cases were characterized by the development of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) requiring advanced respiratory support. However, intensive care units (ICU) were saturated, and many patients had to be treated out of ICU. This case describes a 75-year-old man affected by AHRF due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), hospitalized in a high-dependency unit, with PaO2/FiO2 <100 for 28 consecutive days. An experienced team with respiratory physiotherapists was in charge of the noninvasive ventilatory support (NIVS). The patient required permanent NIVS with continuous positive airway pressure, non-invasive ventilation, high flow nasal oxygen and body positioning. He was weaned from NIVS after 37 days and started exercise training afterwards. The patient was discharged at home with low-flow oxygen therapy. This case represents an example of a successful treatment of AHRF with the still controversial noninvasive respiratory support in one patient with COVID-19.
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