Noninvasive mechanical ventilation in high-risk pulmonary infections

Added March 26, 2020

Citation: Esquinas AM, Egbert Pravinkumar S, Scala R, et al,  International NIV Network. Noninvasive mechanical ventilation in high-risk pulmonary infections: a clinical review. European Respiratory Review 2014; 23(134): 427-38

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will become seriously ill and develop breathing problems. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) might be used to help with this.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for research (including comparative effectiveness studies and observational studies) investigating the role of NIV in adult patients with acute pulmonary infectious diseases and to assess the risk of disease transmission from patients to healthcare workers when NIV is used. They did their search in 2012 and included 34 studies in the review.

What works: Non-invasive ventilation use in the management of acute respiratory failure in pulmonary infections, especially in pandemics, can avert or reverse respiratory failure and decrease the need for endotracheal intubation in selected groups of contagious patients.

Reasonable and adequate precautionary steps should be followed to protect healthcare workers, other patients and family members from an infectious spread when NIV is used.

What doesn’t work: The use of NIV as first-line therapy is not recommended in severe respiratory failure with acute respiratory distress syndrome or in pneumonia.

What’s uncertain: Nothing noted.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.