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Respir Med. 2007 Jun;101(6):1177-82. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Non-invasive home mechanical ventilation: effectiveness and efficiency of an outpatient initiation protocol compared with the standard in-hospital model.

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Servei de Pneumologia, Corporació Parc Taulí, Institut Universitari Parc Taulí, Departament de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Bellaterra), Parc Taulí s/n, 08208 Sabadell, Spain.



To compare the effectiveness and efficiency of an initiation protocol for non-invasive home mechanical ventilation (NIHMV) carried out at a pulmonary outpatient clinic with the standard in-hospital model.


Prospective, observational study.


16 patients divided into two groups: (A) outpatient protocol (n=9); and (B) standard in-hospital initiation with an elective admission (n=7).


at baseline condition and treatment starting, arterial blood gases and nocturnal pulse-oximetry were performed. At the end of follow-up, arterial blood gases and patient compliance (ventilator's built-in counter) was determined. Efficiency was evaluated by calculating cost savings per ventilated patient for the financier and accumulated days of hospitalization saved.


No differences in baseline conditions were observed. Ventilation was effective in the two groups: a significant decrease in PaCO(2) and an increase in mean nocturnal oxygen saturation were observed after initiating ventilation. (Group A: PaCO(2):42.9+/-1.5; SpO(2):91.9+/-1.9; Group B:PaCO(2):44.3+/-6; SpO(2):91.9+/-2.7). At three months the effectiveness of ventilation and the number of hours of ventilation was equivalent in all groups. The new model cut costs for the health care financier by 50%. The outpatient sessions saved 63 days of hospitalization.


(1) Outpatient initiation is an effective and efficient alternative to the traditional in-hospital method for NIHMV. (2) The outpatient protocol represents a substantial saving for the financier.

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