Non-invasive Ventilatory Support in the Elderly

  • Kasiemobi E. PulliamEmail author
  • Timothy A. Pritts
Surgical Care (F Luchette and R Gonzalez, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Surgical Care


Purpose of Review

The first description of non-invasive ventilation use began in the 1920s. Since then, its role in patient care has evolved through increased clinical knowledge and scientific advancements. The utilization of non-invasive ventilation has broadened from initial application in acute in-hospital ICU settings to now include the outpatient settings. This review discusses the history of non-invasive ventilation and its role in acute in-hospital chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, cardiogenic pulmonary edema, and weaning from mechanical ventilation in the elderly. The elderly population represents a significant portion of patients hospitalized for the aforementioned conditions. These groups often have more limitations related to the use of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV); therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of non-invasive ventilation on hospital outcomes.

Recent Findings

There is strong clinical evidence supporting the use of non-invasive ventilation in patients with respiratory failure secondary to acute COPD exacerbations and cardiogenic pulmonary edema. When compared to standard medical management of these conditions, there is a consistent and significant reduction in the rate of endotracheal intubation and in-hospital mortality.


The basis of non-invasive ventilation applicability has been determined by significant reduction in mortality and intubation rates. Although survival benefits have been observed, there still remain limitations to the clinical applicability of non-invasive ventilation in certain patient populations and conditions that require further investigation.


Non-invasive ventilation Elderly population History and literature review Acute in-hospital setting 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kasiemobi E. Pulliam and Timothy A. Pritts each declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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