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Oxygen Administration
Oxygen Administration

Non-Invasive Ventilation

On this page:CPAPBiPAP


  • Non-invasive ventilation should occur in an appropriate venue with sufficiently trained staff, such as a respiratory ward, HDU or ICU.


  • Continous positive airway pressure (CPAP) splints the upper airways open, and relieves upper airway obstruction. This device does not actively ventilate the patient.
    • Indications for CPAP

    • Obstructive sleep apnoea
    • Acute pulmonary oedema


  • Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) provides both expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP), which opens the airways; and inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP), which ventilates the patient.
    • Indications for BiPAP

    • Acute hypercapnic respiratory failure - e.g. due to COPD, chest wall deformities, neuromuscular disorders
    • Immunocompromised patients with acute respiratory failure
    • Step-down after extubation of high-risk patients
    • Contraindications to BiPAP

    • Absolute

    • Severe impairment of consciousness
    • Severe facial deformity
    • Inability to maintain or protect the airway
    • Upper airway injury - burns, trauma, surgery
    • Haemodynamic instability
    • Untreated pneumothorax
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