The management of neuromuscular ventilatory failure

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 1998 Jun;5(2):92-105. doi: 10.1016/s1071-9091(98)80025-9.


All patients with respiratory impairment have either primarily ventilatory or primarily oxygenation impairment. Patients with neuromuscular conditions fall into the former category but are all too often managed as though they had the latter with oxygen therapy, bronchodilators, chest physical therapy, intermittent positive pressure breathing, and so on. This approach can only hasten respiratory failure and management by tracheostomy-However, it has been reported that with the use of noninvasive respiratory muscle aids, respiratory morbidity and mortality can be prevented for most patients with neuromuscular disease without resort to tracheostomy or even hospitalization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / etiology
  • Hypoventilation / prevention & control
  • Infant
  • Lung Volume Measurements / methods
  • Male
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / complications*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / prevention & control*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Ventilators, Mechanical