What are examples of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation?

Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation machine assists breathing in patients who cannot maintain an adequate supply of oxygen in their body, especially while resting. People with health conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnea can be recommended to try NPPV by their doctors. To know more about this type of treatment, its purpose and examples, read further!


What is the purpose of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation?

A better alternative to invasive mechanical ventilation, non-invasive ventilation helps people diagnosed with chronic respiratory insufficiency or respiratory failure to inhale and exhale effortlessly. It offers ventilatory support through the upper airways and doesn’t pierce or cut any part of your skin.


Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation is one of its types. People who have COPD and are experiencing hypercapnic respiratory failure (having more than normal carbon dioxide levels in their blood) or severe sleep apnea are recommended to use NPPV.


Besides, NPPV is also an effective cure for patients who have dyspnea (shortness of breath), hypercarbia (high carbon dioxide levels in the blood), and tachypnea (rapid respiratory action). It can be used as a transition tool when you are being moved off from invasive mechanical ventilation or as an alternative to endotracheal intubation in several cases.


What are some examples of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation?

NPPV supports the respiratory process by offering oxygen through a fitted nasal mask from a flow generator. The positive pressure opens the airway and lungs, making it possible for you to get oxygen down into the tiny alveoli. It is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. There are several machines that use non-invasive positive pressure ventilation to help people breathe. The pressure delivered by these devices prevents throat muscles from collapsing.


Some examples of NPPV machines are as follows-


CPAP- The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is one of the best treatment options for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The device delivers air pressure to the patient’s back of the throat using a mask. As the name suggests, the air pressure remains constant in CPAP machines.

BiPAP- Another example of a non-invasive positive pressure machine is the bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine. The device has two settings for inhaling and exhaling. It is suitable for COPD patients as exhaling against a lower pressure is easy. You can consult your doctor to calibrate the machine for making optimal settings.

APAP- Auto-adjusting positive pressure machine is set to calculate the ideal pressure at which the patient can breathe comfortably. The device can self-adjust and is most suitable for patients with varied breathing patterns during different REM sleep cycles. 


When should you not use non-invasive positive pressure ventilation?


If you have the following conditions, you should not use NPPV treatments-


  • If you are unstable because of hypotension (low BP), sepsis (a generalized infection that can lead to shock), hypoxia (deficiency of oxygen in your tissues) or another life-threatening condition.
  • People who have a deteriorating mental condition should not try this treatment.
  • If you have a condition where you experience excessive secretions, you should not try NVVP as it leads to risk aspiration.

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