Before starting NIV
This section discusses how to support people prior to starting NIV, including monitoring for signs and symptoms, carrying out and interpreting respiratory function tests and discussing respiratory treatments that might be offered.
All patients with MND should be monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory dysfunction combined with objective assessments and how these are changing over time. Monitoring respiratory function and discussions about it’s management should start around the time of diagnosis and continue regularly. This enables problems to be identified early and helps give time to prepare patients and their families and avoid delays in starting NIV when it is needed.
All healthcare professionals have a role to support this process. Staff should be alert to patients complaining of symptoms or signs that might be caused by respiratory dysfunction and be able to explain to the patient why they need additional assessments.