UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Critical Care

Title: NIV & Acute Respiratory Failure

Posted: 12/11/2018 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 10/28/2020)
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Noninvasive Ventilation in De-Novo Respiratory Failure

  • Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is a primary therapy for patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure, especially those with an acute COPD exacerbation.
  • Notwithstanding its benefits in COPD and acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema, NIV should be used cautiously in patients with "de-novo" respiratory failure.
  • Many patients with de-novo respiratory failure will meet criteria for ARDS and have a high rate of intubation (30% - 60%).
  • The use of NIV with delayed intubation in this patient population has been associated with increased mortality. 


Thille AW, Frat JP. Noninvasive ventilation as acute therapy. Curr Opin Crit Care. 2018; 24:519-24.