Effectiveness of Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation in COVID-19 Patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome


  • Salman Ayyaz
  • Affaf Javaid
  • Asif Hanif
  • Yasir Nasir
  • Afshan Qureshi
  • Shakeel Ahmed
  • Bilal Mushtaq
  • Abdul Wajid Khan
  • Seemab Paul
  • Muhammad Atif
  • Muhammad Saleem
  • Farrukh Afzal
  • Muhammad Saqib Saeed


Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation; invasive positive pressure ventilation; severe acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19; respiratory breathing index; patient self-inflicted lung injury


Results of invasive positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) in COVID-19 patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome are discouraging despite its prompt use. However noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is yet not a common practice internationally because of lack of global evidence advocating its effective use in severe cases of ARDS as well as dreadful concern about aerosol generation especially in patients having COVID-19 infection. Objective: To determine whether, NIPPV application is effective and safe in COVID-19 Patients. Methods: One hundred and thirty hemodynamically stable patients with severe CARDS as per Berlin definition (PaO2/FiO2 ratio ≤ 100mm Hg), having GCS > 13, respiratory breathing index (RBI) < 105, and without any systemic complication were selected. They were managed with NIPPV in Corona Intensive Care Unit of Mayo Hospital/King Edward Medical University Lahore. A little innovation was done with the application of a specific orofacial interface, fitted with heat and moist exchanger (HME) at the interface and viral/bacterial filters at the expiratory limb of ventilatory circuit. Favorable outcome has been observed in 64% of treated cases in terms of improvement in PaO2/FiO2 ratio, thus abating severity of ARDS from severe to mild category, in an average time span of 6 days. Remaining 36% of patients progressed to IPPV with definitive airway. During study period, 4.2% of healthcare workers (HCW) got infected with COVID-19. Associated complications of NIPPV application were claustrophobia (13.8%), nasal crusting (6.9%), aspiration (6.1%) and barotrauma (0.7%). Conclusion: In carefully selected patients, use of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation with the application of HME and viral/bacterial filters is an effective, preferable and safe modality of choice to provide respiratory support, thus obviating the need for IPPV. However further larger studies are needed to confirm our recommendations.



How to Cite

Ayyaz, S. ., Javaid, A. ., Hanif, A. ., Nasir, Y. ., Qureshi, A. ., Ahmed, S. ., Mushtaq, B. ., Khan, A. W. ., Paul, S. ., Atif, M. ., Saleem, M. ., Afzal, F. ., & Saeed, M. S. . (2021). Effectiveness of Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation in COVID-19 Patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Annals of King Edward Medical University, 27(2). Retrieved from https://www.annalskemu.org/journal/index.php/annals/article/view/4571




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