Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What is BiPAP?

BiPAP stands for Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure. It is a breathing apparatus that helps people get more air into their lungs. The airways are kept open using a BiPAP machine. BiPAP machines are adjusted to dual settings so that the pressure of the air coming in on inspiration can be different from the pressure of the air being exhaled. This is beneficial because it allows the patient to get more air in and out of the lungs without having to exert a lot of muscle energy.

A person’s forced vital capacity (FVC) as determined by a Pulmonary Function Test is largely what determines if a BiPAP machine is necessary. BiPAP is often used for people who have experienced pneumothorax (or collapsed lung) and as a result have loss of ability of the air sacs at the outermost portions of the lungs.

BiPAPs are usually used while a person is sleeping. It is used for conditions other than just cystic fibrosis. Sleep apnea sufferers for example, are often fitted with a BiPAP machine and face mask. Unlike supplemental oxygen, BiPAP masks are worn so that they completely enclose the mouth and nose. Most manufacturers of BiPAP face masks have different models available and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible.


Matt Todd said...

I started using a Bipap about 9 months ago. I have found that I sleep better and feel more rested when i use it. I also saw an initial bump in my PFT's after starting to use it. Seems to have been beneficial for me.

Alissa Banks said...

I got bipap machines in minnesota and I had a hard time sleeping at first but got used to it!

Loretta said...

I've been using bipap for over 16 years now. The machines have change over time! :)