Our acute non-invasive ventilation (NIV) service offers inpatient treatment to people who are very unwell with respiratory failure.

Non-invasive ventilation treatment for inpatients

A NIV machine supports your breathing, offering gentle help with every breath you take. A NIV treatment involves having a mask fitted tightly over your nose, mouth and sometimes eyes. It is held in place with straps around your head, and connects via tubing to the NIV machine.

Once your mask is fitted, you will be asked to breathe as normally as possible. With each breath, the machine will provide air into your lungs at a set pressure. As you breathe out you will notice a little resistance – this is to help keep your lungs open.

NIV can help avoid the need for a breathing tube and a ventilator for some patients in the intensive care unit. On average, NIV treatment last three days, but this can vary from person to person.

Watch the video below to learn more about NIV treatment. 

Feedback about treatment

We are currently running a patient-centred quality improvement project and asking all our patients to share their feedback about their experience to help improve our service. If you would like to share comments about your experience with us please email imperial.acute-niv@nhs.net.

Patient information leaflets