What is BiPAP?

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  • Topic: Polysomnography, Sleep apnea, Sleep
  • Pages : 2 (398 words )
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  • Published : March 8, 2013
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What is BiPAP?

Bilevel positive airway pressure. It has EPAP (same as CPAP only different name) and IPAP. EPAP: expiratory positive airway pressure.
IPAP: Inspiratory positive airway pressure.

BIPAP has the same benefits of CPAP. CPAP basically prevents you from exhaling all the way, and works to keep your lungs open to improve oxygenation, and it also keeps your upper airway open to prevent apnea

BiPAP also adds a boost of air while you are inhaling -- which is what we call IPAP. What this IPAP does is make sure the patient is getting good breaths in.

With the mask on the patient's face, and the machine turned on, the patient will feel the force of wind on exhalation. This wind serves two purposes. It prevents the airway from collapsing, and thus prevents periods of apnea. It also keeps the alveoli in the lungs open, and thus improves oxygenation, and decreases un-needed pressure on your heart.

Who needs BiPAP or CPAP?

Scenario #1:

In the hospital setting, if we have a patient who is in respiratory distress with rising carbon dioxide(CO2) levels and decreasing oxygen levels (measured by oxygen saturation and PO2), we often decide that the best way to help this patient is to set him up on a BiPAP machine.

In many instances, this is often used to prevent a patient from getting bad enough that he needs to go on life support. And, if the patient tolerates the BiPAP, it can really benefit his breathing, and in a few days he may not need it anymore.

In most cases, with critical patients such as this, we usually just skip CPAP and jump right to BiPAP.

Scenario #2:

The patient needs to be diagnosed as having sleep apnea by participating in a sleep study.

The patient's spouse, or someone other than him, notices he is snoring loudly during the night. Then, for brief periods, he stops snoring, and his chest heaves and sucks in as though he is going to take in a breath, yet a breath does not come.

These periods of no breathing called...
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