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Results from the RECOVERY-RS trial comparing three respiratory interventions (equipment in hospitals) in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory failure

The Respiratory Strategies in COVID-19; CPAP, High-flow, and Standard Care (RECOVERY-RS) trial, funded and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and led by the University of Warwick and Queen’s University Belfast, is the world’s largest non-invasive respiratory support trial for COVID-19, with over 1,200 participants taking part across 48 UK hospitals.

The multi-centre, adaptive, randomised controlled trial compared the use of CPAP (oxygen and positive pressure delivered via a tightly fitting mask), with HFNO (high pressure oxygen delivered up the nose), against standard care (standard oxygen therapy).  All three interventions are commonly used to treat COVID-19 patients before they are moved onto invasive ventilation in a critical care bed, but it was not known which, if any, resulted in better outcomes.  This trial aimed to find out.

The primary outcomes were whether the patient went on to require tracheal intubation (invasive mechanical ventilation) or died within 30-days of beginning treatment through the trial.

Please note this data is a preprint, so it is early work that has not yet been through peer-review and is not published in a journal.  The results are being presented today at the Critical Care Reviews conference.

Journalists dialled in to this press briefing to hear the chief investigators of the trial describe their results.


Speakers included:

Prof Gavin Perkins, Chief Investigator, and Professor in Critical Care Medicine at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick

Prof Danny McAuley,  Chief Investigator, and Professor and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Queen’s University Belfast


This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.

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