NIV for COPD. Can it help?

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may have trouble breathing properly. When you breathe in, your lungs may not absorb enough oxygen (O2), and when you breathe out, you may have trouble getting rid of the waste gas, carbon dioxide (CO2).

If you were in hospital, your doctor may have prescribed ventilation. This is to help your lungs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide more efficiently. Your doctor may also decide that you need to keep on using ventilation at home if you have:

  • Breathlessness
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Low levels of oxygen or high levels of carbon dioxide in your blood.

The most preferred type of ventilation in hospital and at home is non-invasive ventilation.

With non-invasive ventilation, you wear a mask that is attached via an air tube to a portable ventilator. You may be prescribed ventilation for use during sleep and during the day.

How non-invasive ventilation works

Benefits of non-invasive ventilation

Non-invasive ventilation provides a number of benefits for certain COPD patients.

In the hospital, it can help by:

  • Speeding recovery
  • Reducing complications
  • Reducing costs
  • Enabling you to go home sooner.1

At home, it can help by:

  • Reducing breathlessness
  • Lowering the risk of hospital readmission
  • Improving your quality of life and survival. 2,3,4

Your doctor can advise whether home non-invasive ventilation is suitable for you.

Learn more about ResMed’s non-invasive ventilation solutions.


  1. Ram F et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for treatment of respiratory failure due to exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;CD004104.

  2. Galli JA et al. Home non-invasive ventilation use following acute hypercapnic respiratory failure in COPD. Respir Med. 2014;108(5):722-8.

  • 3: Köhnlein T et al. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for the treatment of severe stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – A prospective, multicentre, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2014;2:698-705.

  • 4: Duiverman ML et al. Two-year home-based nocturnal non-invasive ventilation added to rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respir Res. 2011;12(112).


What is COPD?
Symptoms include cough and shortness of breath. COPD is often a mix of bronchitis and emphysema. The risk of COPD is highest in smokers.
COPD diagnosis & treatment
How is COPD diagnosed? How is COPD treated? Medication, exercise, oxygen and ventilation can help disease management.
ResMed’s non-invasive ventilators for COPD
ResMed’s ventilators help people with COPD manage their condition. Our ventilators are easy to use and are available in AirCurve™, Stellar™ and Astral™ models.