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Early prehospital use of non-invasive ventilation improves acute respiratory failure in acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


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.

  • COPD
  • emergency ambulance systems
  • non-invasive
  • nursing
  • prehospital
  • respiratory
  • ventilation

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