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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2012 Jul;67(7):767-72.

Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation in clinical practice at a large university-affiliated Brazilian hospital.

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  • 1Federal University of São Paulo, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Santos/SP, Brazil. liria_yamauchi@yahoo.com.br



To describe noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation use in intensive care unit clinical practice, factors associated with NPPV failure and the associated prognosis.


A prospective cohort study.


Medical disorders (59%) and elective surgery (21%) were the main causes for admission to the intensive care unit. The main indications for the initiation of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation were the following: post-extubation, acute respiratory failure and use as an adjunctive technique to chest physiotherapy. The noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation failure group was older and had a higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score II score. The noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation failure rate was 35%. The main reasons for intubation were acute respiratory failure (55%) and a decreased level of consciousness (20%). The noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation failure group presented a shorter period of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation use than the successful group [three (2-5) versus four (3-7) days]; they had lower levels of pH, HCO3 and base excess, and the FiO2 level was higher. These patients also presented lower PaO2:FiO2 ratios; on the last day of support, the inspiratory positive airway pressure and expiratory positive airway pressure were higher. The failure group also had a longer average duration of stay in the intensive care unit [17 (10-26) days vs. 8 (5-14) days], as well as a higher mortality rate (9 vs. 51%). There was an association between failure and mortality, which had an odds ratio (95% CI) of 10.6 (5.93 -19.07). The multiple logistic regression analysis using noninvasive positive pressure ventilation failure as a dependent variable found that treatment tended to fail in patients with a Simplified Acute Physiology Score II ≥ 34, an inspiratory positive airway pressure level ≥ 15 cmH2O and pH<7.40.


The indications for noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation were quite varied. The failure group had a longer intensive care unit stay and higher mortality. Simplified Acute Physiology Score II ≥ 34, pH<7.40 and higher inspiratory positive airway pressure levels were associated with failure.

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