What Is BiPAP
BIPAP (Meaning Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure) is a breathing support treatment that is most often used to treat central sleep apnea (central sleep apnea is a pause in breathing during your sleep cycle, it is caused by the failure of the brain to activate the respiratory muscles). Sleep apnea is most often treated using a machine that uses support, in the form of positive air pressure, to keep your airway open while sleeping. The airway opening can also be maintained using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), though some find it more difficult to exhale with the continuous pressure. In these cases, BiPAP is used.
BiPAP is a very non-invasive treatment that is often used in a hospital setting, though it can also be used in a private care facility or in the home. Those who are in respiratory distress (not respiratory failure) may find it more comfortable to be placed on BiPAP treatment over a ventilator. Ventilators are more stressful on the body and it may take time for the patient to recover from ventilator treatment.
BiPAP and Bi-level are terms that mean the same thing, the only difference is that BiPAP is a trademark name of Respironics (A leading manufacturer of bi-level positive airway pressure machines). There are many other manufacturers of these machines, they are often referred to as VPAP machines.
The main difference between Bipap and Cpap, or bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) and continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure is just as it appears. In BiPAP, there are alternating pressures that accommodate for the inhalation and expiration that takes place during the respiratory cycle. The pressure is increased for inhalation and decreased for expiration. These pressures can also be custom fit to both the breathing pattern of the particular patient and the comfort level of the patient. In CPAP, there’s only one level of pressure that is continuous during the respiratory cycle.