Respiratory complications are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Treatment of respiratory insufficiency with noninvasive ventilation (NIV) improves ALS patients' quality of life and survival. Evidence-based practice guidelines for the management of ALS patients recommend treatment of respiratory insufficiency with NIV as well as consideration of insufflation/exsufflation to improve clearance of airway secretions. Despite these recommendations respiratory therapies remain underused. In this review we provide a practical guide for the clinician to prescribe and manage respiratory therapies for the patient with ALS.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.