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Airway Clearance Therapy

Non-Invasive Ventilation as an Adjunct to Airway Clearance Techniques

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) uses a machine which provides a flow of air to a person either through a face mask, nasal mask, or a mouthpiece. The flow of air provides positive pressure to the lungs. NIV is most often used for someone with CF during a severe respiratory exacerbation  or those with severe advanced lung disease. Sometimes it may also be used to support exercise and as an adjunct to other airway clearance devices or techniques.  The use of NIV is most beneficial in people who are experiencing increased work of breathing, shortness of breath or fatigue, and those who are very underweight. Your physiotherapist may decide to use this with you in the hospital setting or at home.

Aims of NIV

  • To relax and rest the breathing muscles
  • To increase the amount of air you are able to breathe in
  • To reduce the effort of breathing
  • To improve fatigue
  • To improve outcomes during an acute illness

Please seek assistance from your CF physiotherapist and medical team, if you are interested in trying NIV. Initial machine set up should be done by a physiotherapist, or appropriately qualified health care professional experienced in the use of NIV.  

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