Non Invasive Ventilation: Non Invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation; NIPPV; BiPAP

Non-invasive ventilation is a method of breathing support that does not require the insertion of a breathing tube.

BiPAP stands for "Bi level" positive pressure ventilation. Other names for BiPAP include, BiLevel ventilation, Non-invasive ventilation, Non-invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation or NIPPV.

BiPAP is provided through a tightly fitting face mask. The mask will cover the nose and or the mouth. A softly inflatted rim around the edge of the mask creates a tight seal to maintain the level of positive pressure.

When the patient attempts to breathe, a flow of air is introduced toward the patients mouth or nose (creating the upper pressure level). As the patient breathes in, the flow of air "assists" the patient's breathing by making it easier to take a larger breath. When the patient exhales, a minimum level of air pressure is trapped within the mask (creating the lower pressure level). This minimum pressure helps to keep diseased airways (alveoli) from collapsing.

BiPAP can be useful for some patients by giving them enough support to avoid the need for invasive mechanical ventilation.

In very ill patients, non-invasive ventilation does not provide enough support. For these patients, invasive ventilation is required.



Image 1: BiPAP mask



Last Reviewed: October 23, 2014





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Last Updated October 23, 2014 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada