|The purpose of Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) is to provide a positive pressure to help a child to breath during the respiratory cycle. Through Continuous Positive Air Pressure treatment, pressurized air is delivered to the child’s lungs which assist the child in breathing. CPAP does not breathe for the patient, but it helps the patient to breathe. Here positive intrapulmonary pressure is applied artificially to the airways, whereby distending pressure is created in the alveoli throughout the respiratory cycle in a spontaneously breathing baby. It prevents alveolar atelectasis, enhances & maintains FRC resulting in reopening of collapsed/unstable alveoli leading to improved oxygenation & ventilation.
The gas passes from the reservoir to the tube passed through one side valve (check valve). The valve is designed in such a way that it opens when the child inhales, and closes when the child exhales. The gas is delivered through tube that can extend to baby’s nose or inserted in the trachea. Generally, the preferred method of delivery is through nasal prongs, but endotracheal tube or face mask are also used based on requirement. The pressure is set according to the patients need and the gas flow can be regulated.
Indications for CPAP:
- Mild to moderate RDS
- After extubation
- Alternative to mechanical ventilation