Mechanical ventilation and non-invasive therapy | ResMed

What is non-invasive and invasive ventilation therapy?

COPD patient ventilation noninvasive

Mechanical ventilation is intended to improve the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between your blood and the air in your lungs and make it easier for you to breathe.1

Benefits of non-invasive ventilation

Non-invasive ventilation provides a number of benefits if you suffer from a respiratory disease.

In the hospital, it can help by:

  • Speeding recovery
  • Reducing complications and costs
  • Enabling you to go home sooner.1

At home, it can help by:

  • Reducing breathlessness
  • Lowering the risk of hospital readmission
  • Improving your quality of life and survival. 2,3,4

If you have a respiratory disease, you may have trouble breathing properly. When you breathe in, your lungs may not absorb enough oxygen (O2), and when you breathe out, you may have trouble getting rid of the waste gas, carbon dioxide (CO2).

Mechanical ventilation can help your lungs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide more efficiently. Your doctor may decide that you need ventilation at home if you have:

  • Breathlessness
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Low levels of oxygen or high levels of carbon dioxide in your blood.

The most common type of ventilation used in hospitals and at home is non-invasive ventilation.

With non-invasive ventilation, you wear a mask that is attached via an air tube to a portable ventilator. You may be prescribed ventilation for use during sleep and during the day.


  1. Ram F et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for treatment of respiratory failure due to exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;CD004104.
  2. Galli JA et al. Home NIV use following acute hypercapnic respiratory failure in COPD. Respi Med. 2014;108(5):722-8.
  3. Köhnlein T et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for the treatment of severe stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – A prospective, multicentre, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2014;2:698-705.
  1. Duiverman ML et al. Two-year home-based nocturnal non-invasive ventilation added to rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respir Res. 2011;12(112).