Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation for acute respiratory failure in a medical intensive care unit in Singapore

Ann Acad Med Singap. 1996 Nov;25(6):791-6.


The main advantage of noninvasive ventilation over conventional mechanical ventilation is in the avoidance of endotracheal intubation and its related complications. Currently, the role of noninvasive ventilation in the management of patients with acute respiratory failure is still not firmly established. We conducted a prospective study to evaluate the efficacy of nasal positive pressure ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure. Thirty-three consecutive patients with acute failure in whom intubation and mechanical ventilation were strongly considered were included in the study. They received ventilatory support by means of BiPAP ventilatory support system and nasal mask. Physical findings and laboratory measurements were documented before and at specific intervals after initiation of support. Eighty per cent (24/30) of patients were successfully supported. Successfully supported patients tolerated the device with improved gas exchange, hence avoiding endotracheal intubation. The mean duration of support was 19.2 hours. There were major associated complications, e.g. gastric distention or aspiration.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / instrumentation
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / methods*
  • Male
  • Masks
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Singapore
  • Treatment Outcome