• Vol. 48 No. 7, 224–232
  • 15 July 2019

Non-Invasive Ventilation in Children with Paediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome



Download PDF


Evidence supporting non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in paediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS) remains sparse. We aimed to describe characteristics of patients with PARDS supported with NIV and risk factors for NIV failure. Materials and Methods: This is a multicentre retrospective study. Only patients supported on NIV with PARDS were included. Data on epidemiology and clinical outcomes were collected. Primary outcome was NIV failure which was defined as escalation to invasive mechanical ventilation within the first 7 days of PARDS. Patients in the NIV success and failure groups were compared. Results: There were 303 patients with PARDS; 53/303 (17.5%) patients were supported with NIV. The median age was 50.7 (interquartile range: 15.7-111.9) months. The Paediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction score and oxygen saturation/fraction of inspired oxygen (SF) ratio were 2.0 (1.0-10.0) and 155.0 (119.4-187.3), respectively. Indications for NIV use were increased work of breathing (26/53 [49.1%]) and hypoxia (22/53 [41.5%]). Overall NIV failure rate was 77.4% (41/53). All patients with sepsis who developed PARDS experienced NIV failure. NIV failure was associated with an increased median paediatric intensive care unit stay (15.0 [9.5-26.5] vs 4.5 [3.0-6.8] days; P <0.001) and hospital length of stay (26.0 [17.0-39.0] days vs 10.5 [5.5-22.3] days; P = 0.004). Overall mortality rate was 32.1% (17/53). Conclusion: The use of NIV in children with PARDS was associated with high failure rate. As such, future studies should examine the optimal selection criteria for NIV use in these children.

The use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in children is widespread and has increased in the past decade.1-3 The physiological benefits of NIV include increasing functional residual capacity, unloading respiratory muscles and promoting cardiopulmonary interactions that translate into improved gas exchange and symptom relief.4,5 In certain paediatric patients such as those with bronchiolitis, pneumonia and asthma, NIV has been shown to reduce the need for endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation (MV).6,7 However, whether early NIV support improves clinical outcomes in patients with paediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS) remains contentious.2,8 Indeed, some studies have reported high NIV failure rates such as 78% in PARDS.

This article is available only as a PDF. Please click on “Download PDF” on top to view the full article.