What Is Optiflow™?

Optiflow is a revolutionary oxygen therapy solution, and one of the most exciting developments in respiratory medicine since the introduction of noninvasive ventilation over 20 years ago.  
Optiflow offers the comfortable delivery of a broad range of oxygen concentrations and flows. This exciting new level of flexibility means it can replace traditional oxygen therapy devices and in addition advance the therapeutic capabilities of oxygen delivery, thereby redefining the boundaries of oxygen therapy.
 

Key Benefits of Optiflow

Delivered to the patient through an innovative nasal cannula, the combination of Optimal Humidity and Flow provides the 5 key benefits of Optiflow. 

 

Optimal humidity is fundamental to Optiflow, as it makes it possible to comfortably deliver a wide range of flows directly into the nares.  Emulating the natural balance of temperature and humidity that occurs in healthy adult lungs (37 °C, 44 mg/L) promotes greater patient comfort and improves tolerance to treatment while optimizing mucociliary clearance.

 

Optimal Humidity emulates the balance of temperature and humidity that occurs in healthy lungs, maintaining mucociliary clearance. This can be particularly important for patients with secretion problems such as those with obstructive pulmonary disease. By delivering Optimal Humidity, drying of the airway is reduced, which maintains the function of the mucociliary transport system – clearing secretions more effectively and reducing the risk of complications such as respiratory infection.

Also see Hasani et al.

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Better patient comfort generally means better patient compliance. Ultimately this compliance can then lead on to more effective care, and better patient outcomes.

Also see Roca et al.

  
 


Another key aspect of Optiflow is the flexibility to deliver a blend of air and oxygen over a wide range of flows from low though to high flow.

 

A fundamental issue associated with traditional oxygen therapy is uncertainty around the levels of oxygen patients are receiving. With Optiflow, the aim is to meet or exceed the patient’s normal peak inspiratory demand, which creates minimal air dilution, even when breathing orally. Optiflow can more accurately deliver prescribed oxygen concentrations at high flows, providing both versatility and continuity of care.

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This greater degree of flexibility eliminates the need to switch between oxygen therapy delivery systems as patients wean or if their condition declines.

Also see Ritchie et al in the Clinical summary booklet.

 


With the delivery of high flows directly into the nares, a flushing effect occurs in the nasopharynx. The anatomical dead space of the upper airway is flushed by the high incoming gas flows. This creates a reservoir of fresh gas available for each and every breath, while minimizing re-breathing of CO2.

Also see Dysart et al in the Clinical summary booklet.

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Clinical evidence suggests that with the delivery of Optiflow, low levels of positive airway pressure are generated. Mean airway pressure during the respiratory cycle has been shown to be elevated with the delivery of Optiflow( as indicated by Figure 1).

The degree of pressure is likely to be dependent on a number of variables including flow rate (Figure 2), geometry of the upper airway, breathing method through the nose or mouth) and size of the cannula relative to the nare.

Also see Parke et al.

     
Figure 2 from Parke et al. 2011 
 Figure 1: Pressure waveform comparing nasopharyngeal airway pressure at 35L/min with Optiflow versus face mask 

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