Tverring J, Åkesson A, Nielsen N
Trials 21 (1) 994 [2020-12-03; online 2020-12-03]
Patients with COVID-19 and hypoxaemia despite conventional low-flow oxygen therapy are often treated with high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) in line with international guidelines. Oxygen delivery by helmet continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a feasible option that enables a higher positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and may theoretically reduce the need for intubation compared to HFNC but direct comparative evidence is lacking. We plan to perform an investigator-initiated, pragmatic, randomised trial at an intermediate-level COVID-19 cohort ward in Helsingborg Hospital, southern Sweden. We have estimated a required sample size of 120 patients randomised 1:1 to HFNC or Helmet CPAP to achieve 90% power to detect superiority at a 0.05 significance level regarding the primary outcome of ventilator free days (VFD) within 28 days using a Mann-Whitney U test. Patient recruitment is planned to being June 2020 and be completed in the first half of 2021. We hypothesise that the use of Helmet CPAP will reduce the need for invasive mechanical ventilation compared to the use of HFNC without having a negative effect on survival. This could have important implications during the current COVID-19 epidemic. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04395807 . Registered on 20 May 2020.