Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

[Non invasive ventilation and pediatric palliative care. A French survey]

Journal title
Archives de pediatrie : organe officiel de la Societe francaise de pediatrie
Publication year
Ringuier, B.; Troussier, F.; Boussicault, G.; Chapotte, C.; Rachieru, P.

OBJECTIVES: The benefits of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) have been clearly demonstrated in pediatrics. In palliative care, NIV can improve the level of comfort and quality of life and can decrease dyspnea. The objective was to survey pediatricians’ opinions and practices regarding NIV in palliative care in France. DESIGN: A mail survey was conducted among pediatric pneumologists, intensivists and palliative medicine consultants from February 2015 to March 2015. RESULTS: In case of acute respiratory failure, 84% of the responding practitioners found NIV appropriate in do-not-intubate (DNI) children, while only 35% of them found it appropriate in comfort-measures-only (CMO) children (P<0.0001). In case of progressive respiratory failure, 68% of the responders found NIV appropriate in DNI children, while only 30% in CMO children (P<0.05). The major criterion for initiating NIV in pediatric palliative care was the presence of dyspnea. In pediatric palliative care, the efficacy of NIV was evaluated primarily clinically in terms of the improvement of the child's comfort level, as well as the child's and family's satisfaction. Hypercapnia and desaturation were rarely measured to initiate NIV or to assess its efficacy. Sixty percent of the responding practitioners indicated that referral to NIV was anticipated with children and family before acute events or end-of-life occurred. CONCLUSION: French pediatricians habitually use NIV for management of acute or progressive respiratory symptoms in DNI children. In CMO children, a majority of responding practitioners find NIV inappropriate. In palliative care, the indications for and efficacy of NIV are evaluated based on clinical criteria and rarely on gasometric criteria.

Research abstracts