Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Devices

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Devices

Positive airway pressure (PAP), most commonly continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), machines provide treatment for sleep apnea. With William Shatner (Captain Kirk from Star Trek) as the spokesperson in TV advertisements for CPAP cleaner SoClean, even people who do not have sleep apnea or need a CPAP device are aware of CPAP therapy. The mask and tubing, that need to be cleaned, deliver a pressure in the low centimeters of water (cm H2O) range to the patient to prevent obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – breathing pauses that last longer than 10 seconds. However, much longer and frequent occurrences are common.

According to research funded by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), sleep apnea is thought to affect nearly 30 million people in the United States, or 12 percent of the population. Besides OSA, there are also central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a neurological reason and complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Each of these may require different PAP therapy.

BiPAP Devices | Verywell Health

Image Source: cherrybeans / Getty Images

As a result, CPAP devices are not the only machines used for positive airway pressure therapy. There are also BPAP (or BiPAP) and APAP classifications. Bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP) machines alternate the delivery of two separate pressure levels.

The two levels in BPAP therapy are inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) and expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP). IPAP is the pressure the machine provides as the patient inhales. BPAP provides a higher IPAP than the CPAP, so, inhaling is easier. EPAP is the pressure the machine provides when the patient exhales. The BPAP’s lower pressure allows comfortable exhaling.

Automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) machines use a variable pressure range and adjust the pressure based on the resistance in the patient’s breathing.

All of the pressure settings in these machines require accurate and stable low pressure measurements. Pressures in the 4 cm H2O to 20 cm H2O are common. For safe and accurate measurements for sleep apnea, essentially any of All Sensors’ DLHR, DLVR, ELVR, ELV and MLV series products that have respiratory pressure ranges will work in these ultra low-pressure applications.

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