Archive for April 2008

  At first glance there is very little physical difference among CPAP, autoCPAP and Bi-level systems. All basic RAD systems consist of the same basic components.

  • The unit (often referred to as “the box”)
  • Interface ( a mask or nasal pillows) and headgear
  • Tubing and connectors

The Unit: In addition to a smaller blower and electronic components inside the box, most respiratory assist units will feature an On/Off button, and LCD display, a keypad to adjust the particular pressure setting for the patient, a power supply and a port to connect the tubing. Positive airway pressure units generally weigh less than 5 pounds and some less then 2 pounds. The major difference among the three positive airway pressure devices is in the functions they are designed to preform.

  • CPAP is designed to provide continuous, fixed positive air pressure
  • autoCPAP is designed to change the CPAP pressure based on the patient’s needs
  • Bi-level is designed to provide different levels of pressure (IPAP and EPAP)

 The Interface and Headgear: There are three basic types of RAD interfaces, full facemask (covers entire face), nore and mouth mask, and nasal mask. Within each type of interface are a variety of styles. The particular interface selected depends on the patient’s preference. The key to selecting the proper interface is patient comfort. The more comfortable the patient, the more likely the patient will remain compliant with his or her positive airway pressure therapy.  Headgear is used to keep the interface securely on the patient’s face. Generally, headgear consists of a sense of straps secured about the patient’s head by Velcro tabs. As with interfaces, there are a variety of styles of headgear, and selecting a particular headgear depends on patient preference.

Tubing and Connectors: Flexible, lightweight tubing and specially-designed connectors are used to connect the positive airway pressure unit to the interface. Because each patient has unique needs, a host of accessories are available for RADsystems.