European Respiratory Society Monograph, Vol. 41. 2008
The view on treatment of patients with severe respiratory disorders in general, and of patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in particular, has changed during the past decades. The former, often nihilistic, approach has changed into an attitude towards more active engagement in, and treatment of, severely ill patients. In this context, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) has been brought into focus as a valuable alternative treatment, both in acute respiratory failure and chronic respiratory diseases.
The growing interest in NIV has been reflected in the European Respiratory Monograph (ERM) through the years and the present issue on NIV is a comprehensive review of the field. It updates areas that were covered in the previous 2001 ERM edition and adds a number of new aspects on how NIV may be an option in the treatment of patients with primary respiratory and nonrespiratory disorders.