Route of Nutrition Support in Patients Requiring NIV & CPAP During the COVID-19 Response
The following recommendations apply to patients with COVID–19 infection and may not be
considered optimal outside of a pandemic situation.
Patients on non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) often
fail to meet nutritional requirements orally1,2. Poor nutrition is associated with a longer length of
hospital stay3 and increased mortality in COPD patients undergoing NIV4
Food and oral nutritional supplements should be used initially but where intake is sub-optimal for
more than 2 days, artificial nutrition support should be considered with nasogastric (NG feeding)
being the most readily available option.
NG feeding for those requiring NIV/CPAP can be associated with some problems such as air
leakage and distension of the stomach1
. If NG feeding is deemed appropriate, following the
measures below can facilitate NG feeding while minimising risks in this group of patients.