The BREATHE trial (protocolised trial of invasive and non-invasive weaning off ventilation) will be a pragmatic, randomised, controlled, open, multi-centre, effectiveness trial of 400 patients in 22 UK ICUs.

The purpose is to determine if the use of Non Invasive Ventilation (NIV) as an intermediate step in the protocolised weaning of patients off invasive ventilation is of clinical benefit and cost effective.

About 60,000 people each year in the UK become critically ill and require sedation and treatment with invasive mechanical ventilation given via a tube placed in the windpipe. Although initially lifesaving, invasive mechanical ventilation can be associated with a number of complications. The longer a person requires invasive ventilation the poorer their chances of surviving.

BREATHE will test this within the UK and if non-invasive ventilation for weaning is proven to be beneficial patient could spend less time in intensive care. Breathe website.