What is noninvasive ventilation (NIV)?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020
  • Author: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) refers to the administration of ventilatory support without using an invasive artificial airway (endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube). The use of noninvasive ventilation (see the video below) has markedly increased over the past two decades, and noninvasive ventilation has now become an integral tool in the management of both acute and chronic respiratory failure, in both the home setting and in the critical care unit. Noninvasive ventilation has been used as a replacement for invasive ventilation, and its flexibility also allows it to be a valuable complement in patient management. Its use in acute respiratory failure is well accepted and widespread. It is the focus of this review. The role of noninvasive ventilation in those with chronic respiratory failure is not as clear and remains to be defined.

Noninvasive ventilation. Courtesy of Therese Canares, MD, and Jonathan Valente, MD, Rhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

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