The Breathe Easy Early Study: BEES Study.

Investigate the efficacy of early intervention of Humidified High Flow Therapy versus standard practice in patients that present to the Emergency Department with breathlessness.

Grant ID: EMPJ-306R23-2015

Lay Summary

Shortness of breath is one of the most common reasons for presentation to Australian Emergency Departments, with millions of presentations each year. A new patient, unable to speak properly because they cannot breathe present difficulties in immediate diagnosis and therefore treatment, to emergency doctors and nurses. Immediate management involves the application of oxygen via a face-mask in addition to drug therapy and investigations including x-rays and blood tests. If breathlessness gets worse, the patient may need invasive support for breathing; a process that involves more staff, expensive machines, and resultant considerable cost to the health care system. A simpler support device that provides non-invasive humidified high flow nasal cannula is one alternative to the provision of oxygen and is currently utilised safely in adult and paediatric patients. The “high flow” delivery of humidified oxygen and air provides moderate support, which reduces the work that the exhausted patient does while breathing in and to help splint the airways open. This support is a driving pressure, which is not present during simple mask oxygen therapy. If we treat patients early with high flow therapy rather than standard facemask, we may be able to relieve symptoms of breathlessness sooner and avoid worsening of breathing difficulties. Similar work has been completed on paediatric patients with positive results and we hope to mimic this in the adult population. If possible this would reduce health care costs and allow for earlier discharge from the emergency department and/or hospital by providing this early intervention of breathing support.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Kylie Baker

Co Investigators:
Prof Louise Cullen
Prof John Fraser
A/Prof Andreas Shibler
Ms Kelly Foster
Ms Sara Diab

Associate Investigators:
Ms Peta Gimple
Ms Amanda Corley
Dr Raymond Chan


Collaborating Institutions


  • EMF case study

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