Is non-invasive ventilation an option for a COVID-19 patient?

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There are limited data on the efficacy and safety of NIV in the context of viral pandemics. Experience with Infuenza A (H1N1) showed that NIV failed in 57-85% of patients, with failing patients having a higher ICU mortality than those treated with invasive mechanical ventilation. Experience with the COVID-19 patient group in Wuhan showed a similar failure rate of NIV. 

In addition, non-invasive ventilation is an aerosol-generating procedure, which puts medical professionals in the field in high risk of contraction of Covid-19.

Therefore, there has been a general suggestion that NIV should be avoided for Covid-19 patients. 

Consensus statement: Safe Airway Society principles of airway management and tracheal intubation specific to the COVID-19 adult patient group

Brewster D., Chrimes N. et al.

Med J Aust , Published online: 16 March 2020

Staff safety during emergency airway management for COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Cheung, Jonathan Chun-Hei et al.

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Published online:February 24, 2020