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      Long-term survival in elderly patients with a do-not-intubate order treated with noninvasive mechanical ventilation

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          Noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIMV) is an effective tool in treating patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF), since it reduces both the need for endotracheal intubation and the mortality in comparison with nonventilated patients. A particular issue is represented by the outcome of NIMV in patients referred to the emergency department for ARF and with a do-not-intubate (DNI) status because of advanced age or excessively critical conditions. This study evaluated long-term survival in a group of elderly patients with acute hypercapnic ARF who had a DNI order and who were successfully treated by NIMV.


          The population consisted of 54 patients with a favorable outcome after NIMV for ARF. They were followed up for 3 years by regular control visits, with at least one visit every 4 months, or as needed according to the patient’s condition. Of these, 31 continued NIMV at home and 23 were on long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) alone.


          A total of 16 of the 52 patients had not survived at the 1-year follow-up, and another eight patients died during the 3-year observation, with an overall mortality rate of 30.8% after 1 year and 46.2% after 3 years. Comparing patients who continued NIMV at home with those who were on LTOT alone, 9 of the 29 patients on home NIMV died (6 after 1 year and 3 after 3 years) and 15 of the 23 patients on LTOT alone died (10 after 1 year and 5 after 3 years).


          These results show that elderly patients with ARF successfully treated by NIMV following a DNI order have a satisfactory long-term survival.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Predictors of failure of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure: a multi-center study.

          In patients with hypoxemic acute respiratory failure (ARF), randomized studies have shown noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) to be associated with lower rates of endotracheal intubation. In these patients, predictors of NPPV failure are not well characterized. To investigate variables predictive of NPPV failure in patients with hypoxemic ARF. Prospective, multicenter cohort study. Eight Intensive Care Units (ICU) in Europe and USA. Of 5,847 patients admitted between October 1996 and December 1998, 2,770 met criteria for hypoxemic ARF. Of these, 2,416 were already intubated and 354 were eligible for the study. NPPV failed in 30% (108/354) of patients. The highest intubation rate was observed in patients with ARDS (51%) or community-acquired pneumonia (50%). The lowest intubation rate was observed in patients with cardiogenic pulmonary edema (10%) and pulmonary contusion (18%). Multivariate analysis identified age > 40 years (OR 1.72, 95% CI 0.92-3.23), a simplified acute physiologic score (SAPS II) > or = 35 (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.07-3.06), the presence of ARDS or community-acquired pneumonia (OR 3.75, 95% CI 2.25-6.24), and a PaO2:FiO2 < or = 146 after 1 h of NPPV (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.45-4.35) as factors independently associated with failure of NPPV. Patients requiring intubation had a longer duration of ICU stay ( P < 0.001), higher rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia and septic complications ( P < 0.001), and a higher ICU mortality ( P < 0.001). In hypoxemic ARF, NPPV can be successful in selected populations. When patients have a higher severity score, an older age, ARDS or pneumonia, or fail to improve after 1 h of treatment, the risk of failure is higher.
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            Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation to treat respiratory failure resulting from exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis.

            To determine the effectiveness of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) in the management of respiratory failure secondary to acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Systematic review of randomised controlled trials that compared NPPV and usual medical care with usual medical care alone in patients admitted to hospital with respiratory failure resulting from an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and with PaCO2 >6 kPa. The eight studies included in the review showed that, compared with usual care alone, NPPV as an adjunct to usual care was associated with a lower mortality (relative risk 0.41 (95% confidence interval 0.26 to 0.64)), a lower need for intubation (relative risk 0.42 (0.31 to 0.59)), lower likelihood of treatment failure (relative risk 0.51 (0.38 to 0.67)), and greater improvements at 1 hour in pH (weighted mean difference 0.03 (0.02 to 0.04)), PaCO2 (weighted mean difference -0.40 kPa (-0.78 to -0.03)), and respiratory rate (weighted mean difference -3.08 breaths per minute (-4.26 to -1.89)). NPPV resulted in fewer complications associated with treatment (relative risk 0.32 (0.18 to 0.56)) and shorter duration of stay in hospital (weighted mean difference -3.24 days (-4.42 to -2.06)). NPPV should be the first line intervention in addition to usual medical care to manage respiratory failure secondary to an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in all suitable patients. NPPV should be tried early in the course of respiratory failure and before severe acidosis, to reduce mortality, avoid endotracheal intubation, and decrease treatment failure.
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              Early use of non-invasive ventilation for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on general respiratory wards: a multicentre randomised controlled trial.

              Within the intensive-care unit, non-invasive ventilation (NIV) can prevent the need for intubation and the mortality associated with severe episodes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to find whether the introduction of NIV, early after the admission on a general respiratory ward, was effective at reducing the need for intubation and the mortality associated with acute exacerbations of COPD. We did a prospective multicentre randomised controlled study comparing NIV with standard therapy in patients with mild to moderate acidosis. NIV was administered on the ward with a simple non-invasive ventilator and a standardised predefined protocol. Patients were recruited from 14 UK hospitals over 22 months. 236 patients were recruited, 118 received standard therapy alone and 118 additional NIV. The two groups had similar characteristics at enrolment. The use of NIV significantly reduced the need for intubation as defined by the failure criteria. 32/118 (27%) of the standard group failed compared with 18/118 (15%) of the NIV group (p=0.02). In-hospital mortality was also reduced by NIV, 24/118 (20%) died in the standard group compared with 12/118 (10%) in the NIV group (p=0.05). In both groups pH, PaCO2, and respiratory rate improved at 4 h (p<0.01). However, NIV led to a more rapid improvement in pH in the first hour (p=0.02) and a greater fall in respiratory rate at 4 h (p=0.035). The duration of breathlessness was also reduced by NIV (p=0.025). The early use of NIV for mildly and moderately acidotic patients with COPD in the general ward setting leads to more rapid improvement of physiological variables, a reduction in the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (with objective criteria), and a reduction in in-hospital mortality.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                26 April 2011
                : 6
                : 253-257
                [1 ]Divisione di Broncopneumotisiologia, Ospedale Civile, Vimercate, Italy;
                [2 ]Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Milan, Italy;
                [3 ]Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, Ospedali Riuniti, Bergamo, Italy;
                [4 ]Allergy and Respiratory Diseases, University Of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Cristoforo Incorvaia, Viale Molise, 69-20137 Milano, Italy, Tel +39025513852, Fax +390257993315, Email cristoforo.incorvaia@
                © 2011 Scarpazza et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                acute respiratory failure, mortality rate, respiratory failure, copd


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