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The World in Medicine
May 10, 2000

Noninvasive Ventilation

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JAMA. 2000;283(18):2379. doi:10.1001/jama.283.18.2379-JWM00003-2-1

A simple, noninvasive method of ventilation can restore adequate blood oxygen levels and reduce mortality in postsurgical patients who suffer acute respiratory failure after they are removed from mechanical ventilation.

Patients often need mechanical ventilation if muscle relaxants have been given as part of general anesthesia. But if acute respiratory failure occurs after the ventilatory tube is removed, reintubation can increase mortality sevenfold. So researchers at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, examined the use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) with 20 consecutive postsurgical patients who met criteria for reintubation.