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Oxygen Administration
Oxygen Administration

Non-Invasive Ventilation

March 25th, 2020
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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