n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Non-invasive mechanical ventilation




Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is a modality of providing airway and pulmonary support in both acute and chronic diseases of the lung. The method of mechanical ventilation without the use of an endotracheal tube was developed over a century ago, but its utility has only been explored recently with advances in technology. NIV is the method of choice when there is a desire to avoid the inherent complications that arise from using artificial airway supports such as endotracheal tubes and tracheostomies. NIV can be used in the intensive care unit and in the outpatient setting in appropriately selected patients. Adult and paediatric critical care and respiratory divisions have a wealth of experience in successful use of NIV. The history, use and experience will be discussed along with recommendations for initiating NIV.


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