[Non-invasive and invasive mechanical ventilation for treatment of chronic respiratory failure. S2-Guidelines published by the German Medical Association of Pneumology and Ventilatory Support]

W Windisch, J Brambring, S Budweiser, D Dellweg, J Geiseler, F Gerhard, T Köhnlein, U Mellies, B Schönhofer, B Schucher, K Siemon, S Walterspacher, M Winterholler, H Sitter
Pneumologie 2010, 64 (4): 207-40
The field of mechanical ventilation is highly important in pulmonary medicine. The German Medical Association of Pneumology and Ventilatory Support ["Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pneumologie und Beatmungsmedizin e. V. (DGP)"] therefore has formulated these guidelines for home mechanical non-invasive and invasive ventilation. Non-invasive home mechanical ventilation can be administered using various facial masks; invasive home mechanical ventilation is performed via a tracheostomy. Home mechanical ventilation is widely and increasingly accepted as a treatment option for chronic ventilatory failure which most often occurs in COPD, restrictive lung diseases, obesity-hypoventilation syndrome and neuromuscular disorders. Essential for the initiation of home mechanical ventilation are the presence of symptoms of ventilatory failure and the detection of hypoventilation, most importantly hypercapnia. These guidelines comprise general indication criteria along with disease-specific criteria summarised by treatment algorithms. In addition, the management of bronchial secretions and care of paediatric patients are addressed. Home mechanical ventilation must be organised around a specialised respiratory care centre with expertise in patient selection, the initiation and the control of home mechanical ventilation. In this regard, the guidelines provide detailed information about technical requirements (equipment), control and settings of mechanical ventilation as well as organisation of patient care. A key requirement for home mechanical ventilation is the qualification of specialised home-care services, which is addressed in detail. Independent living and the quality of respiratory care are of highest priority in patients receiving home mechanical ventilation, since home mechanical ventilation can interfere with the integrity of a patient and often marks a life-sustaining therapy. Home mechanical ventilation has been shown to improve health-related quality of life of patients with chronic ventilatory failure. Long-term survival is improved in most patient groups, even though the long-term prognosis is often severely limited. For this reason, ethical issues regarding patient education, communication with ventilated patients at the end of life, living will, testament and medical care during the dying process are discussed.

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