Objectives Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is being increasingly used in children with respiratory failure in order to avoid intubation and associated problems. We analyzed the efficiency of NIV in children and the outcome of our patients.
Methods In a retrospective study children who received NIV over the last 7 years were analyzed. Included were all children that had at least more than one hour of NIV and a cardiological disease or an infection of the airway. Patients were divided in subgroups according to their underlying disease. The following parameters were analysed: age, gender, weight, mode of NIV, hemodynamic and ventilatory status, blood gas analysis, days of hospitalisation and mortality rate.
Results 70 patients between the age of 1 day to 28 years that received NIV were analyzed. The study population consisted of: 35 cardiological patients (50%) and 35 patient with an infection of the airway (50%). Children that had to be intubated because of a respiratory failure were classified as nonresponders. The overall rate of responders was at least 79%. Response correlated significantly with the Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) values, pCO2 and FiO2 at 6 hours after initiation of NIV.
Conclusion NIV offers an effective and successful alternative to conventional mechanical ventilation of children with respiratory failure. Due to advances in the currently available equipment and NIV algorithms we could significantly improve the rate of responders. Based on our findings we established a pediatric NIV score helping to predict NIV success.
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