What is a BiPAP machine?
BiPAP stands for Biphasic Positive Airway Pressure. The machine is a type of Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV), i.e. it does not involve tracheal intubation or opening the windpipe, and is instead used to deliver air via a face mask or nasal tubes.
It is also described as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) system with a time-cycled change of the applied CPAP level.
Who needs a BiPAP machine?
A BiPAP treatment is primarily recommended for patients suffering from sleep apnea (A condition in which breathing is shallow and is characterized by brief pauses in breathing during sleep).
It is also recommended for patients suffering from medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), Obstructive sleep apnea, asthma flare-up, poor breathing after an operation, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, pneumonia, and neurological disease that disturbs breathing.
BiPAP may also be used for patients who require some breathing assistance.
Features of a BiPAP machine
A BiPAP machine typically consists of the following parts:
- A face mask, nasal mask, or nasal plugs to deliver the air
- The machine’s motor, which blows air into a tube
- The tubing that connects the machine’s motor to the mask or plugs
- A heated humidifier in some models
Types of BiPAP machine
BiPAP machines come in 3 types that vary in their modes. They are:-
- Spontaneous (S)
- It switches between inspiratory and expiratory as the BiPAP machine senses the switch in breathing. It is the standard auto BiLevel mode.
- Timed (T)
- It switches between inspiratory and expiratory at a programmed rate to ensure the prescribed breaths per minute (BPM) rate is maintained.
- Spontaneous/Timed (S/T)
- It switches as it senses the change in breathing. Timed mode functions as a failsafe or a backup option to ensure breathing at the required breaths per minute (BPM) rate is maintained.
Working of a BiPAP machine
BiPAP is a type of positive pressure ventilator. While using BiPAP, the patient receives positive air pressure while breathing in and breathing out.
BiPAP machines have two pressure settings- higher pressure for inhalation (IPAP), and a lower pressure for exhalation (EPAP).
The BiPAP machine increases the pressure when the patient inhales to keep the airways in the nose and throat from closing while the patient is sleeping, and provides a lower pressure during exhalation that continues, to maintain an open airway.
Frequently Asked Questions-
1. What does the humidifier do in the models that have this feature?
Humidifier adds moisture to the upper and lower airway. This prevents over dryness of the mouth, nostrils, and throat.
2. What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP?
CPAP machine can only be set to a single pressure whereas BiPAP has two pressure settings.
3. Is a prescription required to buy a BiPAP machine?
Yes, a prescription is required to buy a BiPAP machine that contains the following information-
- One of the following words or phrases: “BiPAP”, “BiLevel”, “VPAP”
- Physician’s contact information
- Physician’s signature
- Patient’s full name
- Patient’s inspiration pressure (Also called IPAP or breathing in pressure)
- Patient’s expiration pressure (Also called EPAP or breathing out pressure)
4. How often should the filters be cleaned?
Washable foam filters should be cleaned as soon as they become discoloured. The foam filter may require more frequent cleaning if the machine is used in a dusty environment.
Where to buy it?
BiPAP machines are available in Hyderabad at:
- TrueCare Surgicals (Store 1)
Address: H.No 1-100, G2, Hitech City Main Road, Opposite Indian Oil Petrol Pump, Madhapur, Hyderabad, Telangana- 500081
- TrueCare Surgicals (Store 2)
Address: Nizampet X Road, Near Sri Sri Holistic Hospital, Behind Vasireddy Swagruha Foods, Kukatpally, Hyderabad, Telangana- 500072