Graphic showing a NIV mask being used

NIV is Non-Invasive Ventilation. You have NIV to help to keep your chest healthy. It is important that you and anyone supporting you, knows that you use a ventilator.

NIV works by gently blowing air into your lungs to help you take bigger breaths. This means that you can breathe in more oxygen and breathe out more carbon dioxide. NIV should be used every night when you sleep. Sometimes it needs to be used during the day too. The person who gave you your NIV machine will advise you when you should use it.

Using your NIV will help you to sleep better and feel less tired during the day. It can help if you are breathless, and it can help you to stay well.

The NIV resource page has been developed in collaboration with Leeds Sleep and Complex Ventilation Service.

How to use your NIV machine
  • Plug the lead into the back of the machine.
  • The tubing slots onto the connector and then the connector slots into the back of machine.
  • Attach your mask onto the end of the tubing.
  • Your mask may look different to the one shown here but they all work in the same way.
  • If you are prescribed oxygen to use with your NIV, then this should be connected.
  • To put your mask on, put the straps over your head.
  • Some masks go over your nose and some go over your nose and mouth.
  • Attach the straps either side of the mask.
  • The mask can be adjusted at the top and the bottom using the straps.
  • Be careful not to make them too tight.
  • It should be snug against your face so that no air can escape from the sides.
  • Press the button on top of the machine to switch it on.
  • The machine will start blowing in time with your breathing.
  • The machine will be set up just for you, you won’t need to change any settings.
  • After a few minutes the screen will go dark so that you don’t have light in your room whilst you sleep.
  • In the morning press the button again and you will see how long you have used the machine for.
  • It will also tell you how good your mask fit was overnight.
  • To take off your mask, unfasten the bottom straps and lift the mask over your head.
  • Leave the machine plugged in at all times.
  • This means that information about how you are using your machine can be collected.
  • If you have any problems with your NIV, you can call the number on the machine, or speak to the person who gave you it, to ask for help.
Cleaning and maintaining your NIV machine
  • Check and wipe your mask with a clean damp cloth and a small amount of washing up liquid every day. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry
  • Every week wash the tubing and mask with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
  • Every 6 months you should change the filter.
  • A message will flash on your machine to remind you.
  • Open the door on the side of the machine.
  • Remove the old filter and replace it with the new filter.
  • When you have changed your filter press the big round button on the side of the machine to clear the message.