Noninvasive ventilation in pediatric intensive care

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2013 Jun;25(3):290-6. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e328360dbdf.


Purpose of review: The use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) has become increasingly popular in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) over the last decade. This review intends to assess our current knowledge on the utilization of noninvasive support in children, especially focusing on its efficacy and safety profile.

Recent findings: Recent studies endorse the use of this therapy in the pediatric intensive care setting. NIV appears to be associated with a decrease in the intubation rate in children. Children who are responsive to NIV will usually show improvement in their physiologic parameters shortly after the initiation of this therapy and this improvement is often sustained. NIV is proving to be a well-tolerated alternative to endotracheal intubation, in particular in those patients with primary respiratory failure, postsurgical patients or with postextubation respiratory distress. Most studies represent single-center experience and therefore caution must be exerted when attempting to generalize their results.

Summary: NIV appears to be a well-tolerated alternative for use in the pediatric population. Its use is associated with decreased intubation rates, which may lead to a decrease in the intubation-related complications. More investigation is needed to fully evaluate the ramifications of increased use of this technology in the PICU.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / statistics & numerical data
  • Noninvasive Ventilation / methods*