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Mayo Clin Proc. 1999 Aug;74(8):817-20.

Noninvasive ventilation.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn. 55905, USA.


Noninvasive ventilation refers to the delivery of assisted ventilatory support without the use of an endotracheal tube. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) can be delivered by using a volume-controlled ventilator, a pressure-controlled ventilator, a bilevel positive airway pressure ventilator, or a continuous positive airway pressure device. During the past decade, there has been a resurgence in the use of noninvasive ventilation, fueled by advances in technology and clinical trials evaluating its use. Several manufacturers produce portable devices that are simple to operate. This review describes the equipment, techniques, and complications associated with NPPV and also the indications for both short-term and long-term applications. NPPV clearly represents an important addition to the techniques available to manage patients with respiratory failure. Future clinical trials evaluating its many clinical applications will help to define populations of patients most apt to benefit from this type of treatment.

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