How should masks be fitted to ensure successful 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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Proper fitting of the mask or other interface is another key component to successful noninvasive ventilation. The mask or interface may be held in place (without straps applied) by the patient or therapist to familiarize the patient with the mask and ventilator. Typically, the smallest mask providing a proper fit is the most effective. Straps hold the mask in place, with care to minimize excess pressure on the face or nose. Leaks are the bane of all of the interfaces, but excess pressure applied with the straps increases the risk of pressure necrosis and skin breakdown. Straps should be tight enough to prevent leaks, but with enough slack to allow passage of one or two fingers between the face and the straps.

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