The role of non-invasive ventilation in COPD


Today, on World COPD Day, we are excited to share the results of the HOT-HMV trial presented at ERS, which show that HMV added to HOT can reduce by 51% the likelihood of readmissions to hospital or death over one year in hypercapnic COPD patients following an acute exacerbation of COPD.1 There are new prospects for better treatment of COPD—and better lives for patients.


Like all forms of mechanical ventilation, non-invasive ventilation supports a patient’s breathing. It has 2 key goals:

  1. To improve the blood gas exchange of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the patient’s lungs.
  2. To support the work of breathing when the patient's ventilatory muscles cannot do this effectively.

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) achieves these 2 goals without the adverse effects of invasive ventilation, such as patient discomfort, the loss of airway defence mechanisms, and risks of infection.2

Non-invasive ventilation makes breathing easier by:

  • Providing pressure support that meets a patient’s unique respiratory needs, so that their work of breathing is decreased
  • Splinting open the upper airway with pressurised air 
  • Increasing the tidal volume inhaled with improved airflow into the lungs
  • Increasing alveolar ventilation by splinting open collapsed alveoli
  • Alleviating hypercapnic symptoms with improved blood gas exchange

Short-term non-invasive ventilation is well-established in treating patients hospitalised with acute exacerbations of COPD.2,3,4

Recent evidence now also shows that when non-invasive ventilation is applied to reduce hypercapnia in COPD patients being treated at home, improvements may be observed in:

  • Arterial blood gas levels
  • Patient-reported quality of life  
  • Survival rates over a 12-month period.1,5

Together, this represents a stronger claim for the use of non-invasive ventilation in treating selected COPD patients. Whether it’s used in acute hospital care or for long-term treatment at home, ResMed has taken these findings to develop intelligent non-invasive ventilation solutions to better treat your COPD patients.

Learn more about ResMed’s non-invasive ventilation solutions for COPD.

Bringing non-invasive ventilation into the picture

Clinical evidence for non-invasive ventilation



Galp JA et al. Home non-invasive ventilation use following acute hypercapnic respiratory failure in COPD, Respir Med. 2014;108(5):722-8.


Rai SP et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure. MJAFI. 2004;60:224–226.


Brochard L et al. Noninvasive ventilation for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. N Engl J Med. 1995;333:817-822.


Kramer N et al. Randomized, prospective trial of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation in acute respiratory failure. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995;151(6):1799-806.


Duiverman ML et al. Two year home-based nocturnal noninvasive ventilation added to rehabiptation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respir Res. 2011;12(1):112.

* World Health Organization. “Chronic respiratory diseases: Burden of COPD” (accessed November 9, 2015)