Negative pressure ventilation (NPV), a concept that was used in the 1940s through 1950s to support the victims of the polio epidemic, is regaining popularity. It is being used increasingly to intermittently support respiratory function in patients suffering from a variety of diseases. The use of NPV obviates the need for a surgically placed airway (if the patients’ upper airway is intact) and allows the patient to resume many of his or her normal activities. Several types of NPV are available for use and experimentation, and it is strongly recommended that the appropriate type for each patient be chosen. Nursing care of the patient on NPV is essentially the same as that of any chronically ventilator-dependent patient. Issues unique to the patient supported on NPV include: increased potential for aspiration, skin breakdown around the NPV site, and “tank shock.” Nursing plays an important role in identifying patients who may be candidates for NPV. Negative pressure ventilation may allow a formally hospital-bound patient the opportunity to be home with family and friends

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