Are patients with COPD treated with NIV in accordance with national guidelines? An internal audit

Ingrid Louise Titlestad, Fanny Olsen, Hanna M Sandqvist, Pourbazargan Melvin M, Håvard H Fretheim, Annmarie Touborg Lassen, Jørgen Vestbo

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) as an add-on modality to medical treatment has been recommended in national guidelines for patients acutely admitted with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) exacerbation and hypercapnic respiratory failure. To address concerns regarding whether NIV is used appropriately, we conducted an audit of COPD patients admitted to a university hospital in Denmark.

Material and methods: Data from medical records were retrieved for two cohorts in 2010: 1) all patients admitted to the Medical Emergency Ward with the diagnosis of COPD, and 2) all patients receiving NIV regardless of their diagnosis at the Respiratory Ward. Demographic data and outcome of treatment were registered.

Results: Cohort 1 comprised 804 admissions fulfilling criteria for COPD at evaluation, and of the 804 admissions, NIV was initiated in 151 (18.7%) admissions. In 42 additional cases (5.2%), initial mild respiratory acidosis was registered at admission, fulfilling criteria for NIV treatment; and, in 36 cases, the clinical status was reported as improved or not reported at all; no deaths were observed. In cohort 2, 124 admissions were registered that comprised 110 admissions with COPD and 14 without a diagnosis of COPD (of which half had a ‘not-to-intubate’ order). The indication for NIV treatment was met in 92.7% of the COPD admissions.

Conclusion: NIV was initiated in 18.8% of the COPD admissions, and in an additional 5.2%, NIV criteria were met without initiation. In 82.3% of the admissions receiving NIV, a COPD diagnosis and correct criteria for NIV treatment were met.

Keywords: non-invasive ventilation; respiratory failure; COPD; hypercapnea

Original languageEnglish
Article number24506
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Publication statusPublished - 11. Nov 2014

Cite this