Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV)

Patients with severe emphysema (a condition that is usually due to a previous smoking habit), are at a high risk of chest infections all year round. Extreme breathlessness, reduced mobility, anxiety and a build-up of carbon dioxide with reduced level of oxygen sometimes make their care impossible at home resulting in an emergency admission to hospital. One of the options for treatment is ventilatory support. On Hethel Ward (the specialist respiratory ward) we have a dedicated bay where up to 6 patients can be treated simultaneously and benefit from non invasive ventilatory support. This means that breathing is supported by means of a close fitting mask and pressurised air is gently pushed through your airways. A fully dedicated staff of ward nurses and consultants ensure a 24 hour a day safety net for those patients facing one of their most critical situations. This service gives 75%-85% reversibility of their acute condition without needing to go to the intensive care unit.

The NNUH sleep and non-invasive ventilation services received a national award for innovation in 2005.