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Bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP), commonly referred to by the trademarked names Bi-PAP and BIPAP, is a form of non-invasive (NIPPV) mechanical pressure support ventilation that uses a time-cycled or flow-cycled change between two different applied levels of positive airway pressure.Bi-level positive airway pressure is used when positive airway pressure is needed with the addition of pressure support. Common situations where positive airway pressure is indicated are those where taking a breath is difficult. These include pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, status asthmaticus, and late stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. BPAP is different from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which applies a single level of positive airway pressure throughout the whole respiratory cycle and is used for different clinical conditions.
Both CPAP and BPAP apply pressurized air from a tabletop device; both use a mask with headgear and tubing. The bipappatient places the mask on their face (either over their nose, or both the nose and mouth) to receive pressurized air. With a good seal, the mask effectively delivers PAP to keep the airways open during sleep, preventing collapse of tissues and improving the exchange of oxygen (at inhale) with carbon dioxide (during exhale).
Both therapies make it easier to breathe and can lead to opportunities for better, longer sleep and more stages of REM and deep nonREM sleep. This is especially critical for people suffering chronic lung disease
A Bi PAP machine also includes a "smart" breath timing feature that adapts to the user's respiratory patterns; it resets at different pressures to help keep the breathing rate on target. This offers relief to the user's typically overworked muscles of breathing.