Flexible bronchoscopy insufflated and high-flow nasal oxygen pilot trial (BUFFALO protocol pilot trial)

Susan Humphreys, Andreas Schibler, Tara Williams, Susan Spall, Trang Pham, Tiffany Atkins, Vikas Goyal, David Sommerfield, Aine Sommerfield, Adam Keys, Neil Hauser, Britta S. von Ungern-Sternberg

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Background: Hypoxaemia occurs in approximately 30% of children during anaesthesia for flexible bronchoscopy. High-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) can prolong safe apnoea time and be used in children with abnormal airways. During flexible bronchoscopy, there is limited evidence if HFNO confers advantages over current standard practice in avoiding hypoxaemia. The aim is to investigate feasibility of HFNO use during anaesthesia for flexible bronchoscopy to reduce frequency of rescue oxygenation and hypoxaemia. Methods: BUFFALO is a bi-centre, unmasked, randomised controlled, parallel group, protocol for a pilot trial comparing HFNO techniques to standard practice during anaesthesia. Children (n = 81) aged > 37 weeks to 16 years presenting for elective bronchoscopy who fulfil inclusion but not exclusion criteria will be randomised prior to the procedure to HFNO or standard care oxygenation post induction of anaesthesia. Maintenance of anaesthesia with HFNO requires total venous anaesthesia (TIVA) and with standard, either inhalational or TIVA at discretion of anaesthetist in charge of the patient. Outcomes will include the feasibility of recruitment and adherence to trial procedures, acceptability of the intervention of the protocol and completion rates of data collection methods. Discussion: Findings of this trial will determine feasibility to plan for a larger multicentre randomised clinical trial and support the feasibility of the proposed study procedures. Trial registration: BUFFALO trial was registered with Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (TRN12621001635853) on 29 November 2021 and commenced recruitment in May 2022. https://www.anzctr.org.au/. The primary manuscript will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024


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