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Non-invasive ventilation improves COPD survival rates

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Australian researchers undertook randomised controlled trial to identify whether nocturnal non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has an effect on survival, lung function and quality of life in patients with severe hypercapnic COPD.

144 patients were randomised to use non invasive ventilation (NIV) at night plus long term oxygen therapy (LTOT) or LTOT alone.

The patients all had severe, stable, smoking-related COPD and had been using long-term oxygen therapy for at least three months.

The study identified that NIV improved quality of sleep and sleep-related hypercapnia as well as survival. Patients complied with the treatment but the authors noted a reduction in quality of life compared to those who only received LTOT.

Thorax 2009; 64:561-566

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