Aim To evaluate the use of prehospital non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Methods 36 adult patients were treated by prehospital NIV or standard oxygen therapy.
Results Prehospital NIV was described as feasible by the paramedics. Prehospital improvement of respiratory rate and dyspnoea was significantly better and the length of intensive care was significantly lower in NIV patients.
Conclusion Prehospital NIV can be managed by a trained emergency team with high but sustainable workload. Dyspnoea and length of intensive care may be significantly reduced.
Clinical trial registration number ISRCTN47620321.
- emergency ambulance systems
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WS and OA contributed equally to this study.
Funding This study was funded by the medical service of the German armed forces.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee, Charite Universitätsmedizin, Berlin.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.