Thursday, January 25, 2024

Hospital Variation in Non-Invasive Ventilation Use for Acute Respiratory Failure

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Hospital Variation in Non-Invasive Ventilation Use for Acute Respiratory Failure Due to COPD Exacerbation

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is the administration of ventilatory assistance through the patient’s upper airway that uses a cover or similar device. This procedure is distinct from others that use a tracheal tube, laryngeal mask, or tracheostomy to bypass the upper airway and are thus regarded invasive.

So today, in this article we are going to discuss hospital variation in Non-invasive ventilation. If you are interested in medical coding, this article will interest to you. So here we go!


In this publication, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) refers to the non-invasive administration of positive airway pressure, again utilizing a face or nasal mask rather than in combination with invasive procedures. Even though it is debatable whether using non-invasive CPAP in acute respiratory failure constitutes ventilatory support, it is included in this paper due to the prevalent misunderstanding between Non-invasive ventilation and CPAP in medical practice.

Background of Non-Invasive Ventilation

Another of the early accounts of Non-invasive ventilation usage with nasal masks was for the treatment of nighttime hypoventilation in patients with the neuromuscular illness. 1,2 This has proven to be so beneficial that it is now universally acknowledged as the primary non-invasive ventilation therapy used in patients with persistent hypercapnic respiratory failure due to chest wall deformity, neuromuscular illness, or decreased central respiratory drive. Other methods, such as external negative pressure ventilation and rocking beds, have mostly been superseded.

Non-invasive ventilation was being utilized in acute hypercapnic respiratory failure and in individuals with atypical lungs rather than a defective respiratory pump within a few years of its inception. Informal findings were followed by bigger series, which were subsequently followed by randomized studies. According to the findings of these studies, Non-invasive ventilation is an effective therapy for acute hypercapnic respiratory failure, as stated in the section on Guidelines.

It offers a lot of potential benefits, including the elimination of tracheal intubation and the related mortality and morbidity from complications such as pneumonia. Because there is typically a great demand for critical care unit beds, Non-invasive ventilation can be employed in various therapeutic areas and at an earlier time than tracheal intubation. With Non-invasive ventilation, intermittent ventilatory support is available, allowing for progressive weaning as well as regular feeding, drinking, and conversation. Releases from mechanical ventilation can be utilized to administer nebulized medicine, physiotherapy, and expectoration.

According to a research study of acute admissions in Leeds, if Non-invasive ventilation was used in all patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) with the pH of 7.35 (H+ >45 nmol/l) upon immediate healthcare attention, a pretty standard division general hospital representing a number of individuals of 250 000 could consider treating approximately 70 patients annually.

Non-invasive ventilation has been found to be an effective therapy for acute hypercapnic respiratory failure, especially in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. NIV capabilities should be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in all facilities that are likely to accept such individuals.

 Non-invasive ventilation is not appropriate for all people suffering from respiratory failure. Patients who might benefit more from tracheal intubation will obtain inferior care if it is administered indiscriminately. The use of Non-invasive ventilation in patients who are unlikely to benefit from it is likewise undesirable.

It is critical that Non-invasive ventilation is used in an acceptable clinical environment by suitably qualified professionals who use the correct ventilator mode, features, and interaction for that patient while monitoring them properly. When tracheal intubation and invasive ventilation are obviously more suited, Non-invasive ventilation should not be utilized as a replacement.

Non-invasive ventilation Indications

NIV has been utilized in a variety of situations. A variety of limitations have been listed, although they should be seen as comparative instead of fundamental. It is crucial to highlight that the majority are conceptual and based on the fact that they were major limitations in randomized clinical trials rather than on proof of damage.

Acknowledgment of a comparative contraindication is reasonable if NIV is the standard of care and hence the sole treatment choice. However, it may not be if intubation is regarded suitable. As a result, it is preferable to think of them as conditions that necessitate extra caution rather than as contraindications in and of themselves. However, there are several circumstances in which NIV is nearly never suitable, such as severe definite upper airway blockage necessitating tracheostomy and serious facial burns/trauma or anything else that makes it difficult to install the interfaces.


Acute COPD exacerbation is among the most prevalent reasons for urgent hospitalization, with one of the most serious individuals more likely to suffer exacerbations that necessitate hospitalization. In addition, acute exacerbations are significant occurrences in the normal course of illness, resulting in deterioration of lung function and health-related quality of life.

Acute AECOPDs, defined as those that required urgent care treatment or hospitalization, had a 1-year death rate of 26.2% and are linked with high levels of rehospitalization. AECOPD-related hospitalizations are also linked with a worse duration of life and account for 70% of direct costs medical costs for COPD.

Acute AECOPD may result in abrupt respiratory failure, necessitating supplementary oxygen and/or ventilator support in addition to normal treatment. Non-invasive ventilation is the most effective treatment for acute respiratory failure owing to severe AECOPD (NIV). As per a 2017 meta-analysis, NIV decreases the requirement for Invasive Mechanical Ventilation (IMV) by 64 percent and mortality by 46 percent.

AECOPD-related hospitalizations at acute-care VA hospitals from October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2017, were included in the retrospective cohort analysis. This practice was authorized by the Iowa City VA Health Care System’s Institutional Review Boards and Research and Development Committee [IRB 201712713] as part of a wider study with a previous report. 10 The research was carried out in line with the Helsinki Declaration. So because research only looked at current patient information, consent forms were waived for this retrospective analysis. The information provided by patients was kept private.


Image 01 – Patient flowchart and outcomes

Patients admitted to the hospital with AECOPD according on the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth and Tenth Modifications, Medical Modification (ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM) and utilizing the basic guidelines: 1) COPD (ICD-9-CM codes: 490.x, 491.xx, 492.xx, and 496.xx; or ICD-10-CM codes: J41, J43, J43.1, J43.2, J43.8, J43.9, J44.0, J44.1, J42, or J44.9); or 2) acute respiratory failure (518.81, 518.82, 518.84, or 799.1) (ICD-9-CM codes: 491.21, 491.22; ICD-10-CM codes: J44.1, J44.0).

Depending on the overall COPD volume throughout the course of the study, hospital COPD-case volume was categorized as high (above the median) or low (below the median). The medical duration of stay was computed in days based on the registration and checkout dates. The death date indicated in the VA Vital Status File and the recurrence between admitting and discharging dates were used to determine acute mortality.

percentage-of-niv-supportImage 02 – Percentage of ventilatory support

NIV should be viewed as a supplement to, rather than a substitute to, invasive ventilation, falling somewhere between no ventilatory assistance and ETI and ventilation. Its goal is typically to keep respiratory failure from escalating to the point where patients require intubation. NIV can be employed in four different situations: 

  • In individuals with respiratory failure that is earlier than the point at which ETI would be regarded
  • Test with the possibility of early intubation if NIV failed
  • The therapeutic limit in individuals judged significant risk for invasive ventilation; and
  • Patients experiencing respiratory failure after extubation or to aid in the transition away from invasive ventilation

The majority of randomized controlled studies have been conducted in AECOPD individuals, and guidelines for using NIV in other diseases are mostly based on COPD knowledge.

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I am a medical biller, a blogger and have 20 years of experience in medical billing, medical billing management, and medical assistant. My background includes positions as a clinical medical assistant, medical records technician, medical office manager, biller, and coder. I am certified by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) as a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and by the Practice Management Institute (PMI) as a Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM). As an office manager/biller/coder, I was a member of the Michigan Medical Group Managers, Michigan Medical Billers Association. I also served as a committee member of the Michigan Osteopathic Association of Practice Managers Education Committee.

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