Bi-Level / Ventilators
BiPAP treatment, otherwise known as Bi-level or VPAP is a mechanical, medical ventilator that helps you breathe when you are unable to breathe on your own. BiPap provides non-invasive mechanical, medical ventilation that assists with breathing, by providing air pressure through a mask placed over your nose and mouth.
For a normal healthy person, the lungs should expand when breathing in. This motion happens as a result of the diaphragm, your main breathing muscle in your chest, compresses. This causes the pressure to drop inside the lungs’ tubes and sacs, and sucks oxygenated air into the lungs.
For patients with difficulty breathing, a BiPAP machine can help push air into the lungs, and open the lungs with air pressure. BiPAP provides positive air pressure when you breathe in and when you breathe out. However, the pressure is higher when breathing in.
BiPAP or medical ventilation can be beneficial for the following conditions:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
- Obesity Hyperventilation Syndrome
- Asthma flare-up
- Poor breathing post surgery
- Neurological disease that disturbs breathing e.g. Motor Neurones Disease (MND).
It is recommended that when buying a BiPAP machine for home use, to consult a medical professional. That way, you can be assured of getting the BiPAP machine that best suits your needs.
Although both a CPAP machine and a ventilator both assist in providing breathing support, there are slight differences between the machines and how they are directed for use. If you have been diagnosed with a respiratory illness, a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea, or believe that you maybe at risk of developing these conditions, then it is wise to do some personal research about what a ventilator is and what kind of mechanical ventilation assistance you can purchase to help you manage your condition.
People who suffer from fragile respiratory health are always at risk of airborne viruses and pathogens which can lead to aggravating their existing conditions and worsening their health. Viruses like the corona virus develop into the disease known as Covid-19 and symptoms typically experienced by somebody with a confirmed case of the virus are characterised by upper respiratory illness starting with a sore throat and then developing into a dry cough. If you already have a pre-existing medical condition, such as respiratory illness or a cardiovascular condition, maintaining your respiratory health should always be top priority. Before deciding on whether ventilators or other invasive ventilation is necessary or likely for managing your health, there are a few preventative measures that you can take to help reduce your chances of contracting a respiratory illness.
Hygiene is always important but during pandemics and outbreaks of airborne illnesses, being extra vigilant with your hygiene practice can greatly reduce your chances of falling ill. Firstly, you should limit your exposure. Avoiding highly crowded areas or closely quartered rooms with strangers can reduce your known exposure to germs both on surfaces you are not sure have been adequately cleaned, and from people who may be ill and not even know they are ill. Reducing time spent outside of controlled environments like your home will help to minimise your physical contact with surfaces or people who may be carrying the virus.
If you must leave your house then preparing for your trips outside to places like the grocery shop, the pharmacy or the petrol station should include washing your hands for at least 30 seconds using anti-bacterial soap, and may include wearing an extra layer of respiratory protection in the form of a medical face mask. A face mask, like an N95 mask, will help to minimise your exposure to unfriendly germs in the air, but it is imperative that your hands remain as clean as possible at all times as well. Your hands, whether you know it consciously or unconsciously, are in constant contact with your face so they must remain clean to ensure that the protection of your face is not compromised. While you’re out and about, using hand sanitiser before and after touching any surface is recommended. If you are using something like a shopping basket or other carrier that is not yours and you are not sure that it has been cleaned effectively, it’s handy to keep a packet of alcohol swabs in places like your handbag, your pockets and the glove box of your car. You can use these swabs to quickly sanitise surfaces you must come in contact with. These measures work best when they are all used and strictly adhered to along with a thorough personal hygiene practice and regular cleaning of your clothes and home surfaces.
Is CPAP a ventilator?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and a CPAP machine is most often used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition whereby an individual’s airway may close involuntarily during sleep, causing lapses in regular breathing and conditions like acute respiratory distress. These lapses can be life threatening in extreme examples, but most often result in poor quality sleep by the apnoea sufferer. Poor quality sleep can affect our bodies in a lot of ways with the most obvious effects felt in the form of fatigue and the need for frequent napping throughout the day. Other less subtle effects include increased strain on the cardio-vascular system which can lead to further health conditions over the long term.
People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea are most likely to snore very loudly during sleep and to occasionally stop breathing or experience difficulty when intaking a breath. Partners who share a bed with a sufferer are usually the first to notice the early stages of the condition and if you believe you are at risk then you should consult your local GP as soon as possible to arrange a sleep study. It is during a sleep study that your sleeping is closely monitored for signs of obstructive sleep apnoea and, should indications that you suffer from the disorder become apparent, this sleep study will also help to determine the type of breathing assistance you will need while you sleep and at what pressure air a CPAP or BiPAP machine should be delivering oxygen into your airway.
CPAP machines are non-invasive ventilators which come in a range of sizes, including portable types which can be easily taken while on holiday to ensure that your sleep rhythms and quality remain consistent wherever you are sleeping. Our sleep specialist consultants can help you find the right machine for your needs if you have a confirmed diagnosis and our services are now available online.
Always seek the guidance and advice of a medical professional such as a respiratory specialist or a cardiologist before purchasing any form of respiratory assistance to ensure that you are receiving the right kind of support for your condition.
What is the purpose of a ventilator?
A ventilator (also known as a BiPAP, Bi-level or VPAP machine) is a sort of ‘catch all’ name used to describe medical machines made for assisting with breathing. They come in a range of sizes which are designed to treat a whole spectrum of breathing difficulties from minor to major and life-threatening conditions.
Ventilators of any type are designed for treating patients with a breathing difficulty. The level of difficulty ventilated patients experience can differ greatly. Some patients requiring critical care in hospitals like patients in the intensive care unit will receive life supporting ventilation which may entirely replace the normal function of their lungs. ICU ventilators are typically large units designed to support a patient entirely to ensure they remain breathing regularly and that the level of carbon dioxide in their blood does not reach life threatening levels.
Other types of ventilation include help with pulmonary ventilation used to support a patient who can breathe on their own but who may require some assistance in maintaining healthy oxygen levels. These types of ventilators can be purchased from reputable outlets for medical supplies, including online stores.
The CPAP Clinic is the largest and most trusted provider of CPAP services in Australia and New Zealand and we specialise in providing our clients with independent advice and affordable care across a broad range of products including world-leading medical brands like ResMed, Phillips Respironics and Fisher & Paykel. Our services include a full online store as well as online consultation services previously only offered and received across our Australia-wide clinic locations. You can now speak with a qualified consultant online about your medical condition and receive the highest-quality service and treatment for managing your respiratory conditions, including sleep apnoea treatment and recommendations for a CPAP, BiPAP or ventilator that you may require.
Whether you are in need of expert advice or general product knowledge regarding any of our stocked products, including ventilator machines, we can help you find the right machine, accessories and treatment schedule for your optimal health and for your budget.