What is non-invasive ventilation?

Non-invasive ventilation is a method of delivering air for ventilatory support through a mask, as opposed to invasive ventilation which requires delivery through an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube.

When used with a mechanical ventilator, both methods provide pressurised air to increase airflow into the lungs by opening obstructed airways. This reduces the patient’s work of breathing, and improves their alveolar ventilation.

The main advantage of non-invasive ventilation is that it avoids the added complications of invasive intubation such as risks of infection, patient discomfort and airway trauma.1 And because of its reduced incidence of mortality,2,3 non-invasive ventilation is preferred over invasive ventilation where possible.

Non-invasive ventilation in COPD

Short-term non-invasive ventilation has been effective for patients hospitalised for acute exacerbations of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).4 Its long-term use is also showing promising benefits for patients with hypercapnic COPD.5

ResMed’s ventilator range offers a broad range of therapy modes, making them suitable for a variety of clinical needs. And because our ventilators are light and portable, they allow your patients to live a more independent life.


  • 01

    Rai SP et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure. MJAFI. 2004;60:224–226.

  • 02

    Ram F et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for treatment of respiratory failure due to exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;CD004104.

  • 03

    Vital FM et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (CPAP or bilevel NPPV) for cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008:CD005351.

  • 04

    Galli JA et al. Home non-invasive ventilation use following acute hypercapnic respiratory failure in COPD, Respir Med. 2014;108(5):722-8.

  • 05

    Köhnlein T et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for the treatment of severe stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – A prospective, multicentre, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2014;2:698-705.