What is the difference between invasive and non invasive ventilation?
Ventilator is device used to support breathing. It is used when there is difficulty in breathing or when spontaneous breathing has stopped. Ventilator is an important life supporting device useful in many life threatening conditions.
Invasive ventilator is usually used in the intensive care setting or the operating room. A tube is placed in the windpipe (trachea) under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia. This tube is connected to a mechanical ventilator using appropriate connection tubings. Ventilator senses the breathing needs of the individual and gives appropriate pressures to inflate the lungs to either replace the breathing efforts of the individual or supplement spontaneous breathing in various disease conditions.
Non invasive ventilator is usually a smaller device with less sophistication. It is connected using an external mask which is tight fitting over the nostrils and mouth. A good air seal at the mask – face interface is needed for proper functioning of non-invasive ventilator. But the advantage is that the individual can remain fully alert, without any need for sedation or anaesthesia. There is no need to place a tube (endotracheal tube) in the wind pipe. The non invasive ventilator usually supplies two levels of pressure – on during breathing in (inspiration) and another during breathing out (expiration). Pressure applied during inspiration is higher than that in in expiration. This type of non invasive ventilation is known as bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilation.