A BiPAP machine is a relatively small device that assists with a patient's breathing. It is connected by flexible tubing to a face mask worn by the patient (as illustrated). The BiPAP machine helps push air and oxygen into the lungs and then helps to hold the lungs inflated, thereby allowing more oxygen to enter the lungs. BiPAP may be used to support breathing for a number of patient conditions including
Example of a full face mask
These images sourced through Google using 'bipap' as keyword
When is a BiPAP Machine Used?
A BIPAP machine is used when a patient can not breathe effectively enough to maximize the transport of oxygen into the lungs and then into the blood. It can at times be used instead of a ventilator(breathing machine). Patients can be given short breaks from the BiPAP mask which will normally then be replaced with an ordinary oxygen mask.
How Long is a BiPAP Machine Used?
The Intensive Care doctor determines how long the BIPAP machine is used. It has been used successfully for periods varying from several hours to several weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. BiPAP machines may also be used in specialised respiratory wards. Similiar machines can be used at home for long periods.
Are There Any Complications?
All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.
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NB These translations are based on an earlier version of this description.
The information contained on this page is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual patient variation. In addition it reflects Australian intensive care practice which may differ from that of other countries. It is meant as a back up to specific information which will be discussed with you by the Doctors and Nurses caring for your loved one. ICCMU attests to the accuracy of the information contained here BUT takes no responsibility for how it may apply to an individual patient. Please refer to the full disclaimer.
BiPAP Version 1.4
First published June 2004
Reviewed October 2011
Reviewed by Kay Johnson CNS ICCMU