Noninvasive ventilation for acute respiratory failure | ResMed
Noninvasive ventilation for acute respiratory failure
Healthcare professionals > Research and Education > Clinical papers > Respiratory Care  > Noninvasive ventilation for acute respiratory failure

Noninvasive ventilation for acute respiratory failure

Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is often used for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema.1,2  However, there is emerging evidence that NIV can be used successfully in treating other types of acute respiratory failure.

NIV has already been employed for patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. In selected patient groups it may:

  • Avoid the need for intubation in >50% of selected patients3,2
  • Allow for earlier extubation of mechanically ventilated patients3
  • Reduce mortality2,3,4,5
  • Reduce the occurrence of nosocomial pneumonia3

Some predictors of respiratory failure include lower levels of consciousness, lower pH, and increased secretions2. Patient groups where evidence is still lacking include asthma, pneumonia, and acute lung injury.6

Find out more about noninvasive ventilation on our dedicated ResMed page


  1. Hess DR. Noninvasive ventilation for acute respiratory failure. Respir Care 2013;58:950-72.
  2. Penuelas O, Frutos-Vivar F, Esteban A. Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation in acute respiratory failure. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne 2007;177:1211-8.
  3. Hess DR. The evidence for noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation in the care of patients in acute respiratory failure: a systematic review of the literature. Respir Care 2004;49:810-29.
  4. Antonelli M, Conti G, Rocco M, Bufi M, De Blasi RA, Vivino G, et al. A comparison of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation and conventional mechanical ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure. N Engl J Med 1998;339(7):429–435.
  5. Ferrer M, Esquinas A, Leon M, Gonzalez G, Alarcon A, Torres A. Noninvasive ventilation in severe hypoxemic respiratory failure: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003;168(12):1438–1444.
  6. Keenan SP, Mehta S. Noninvasive ventilation for patients presenting with acute respiratory failure: the randomized controlled trials. Respir Care 2009;54:116-26.