What is BiPAP ventilation?

Bilevel positive airway pressure (BIPAP) is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mode used during Non- Invasive Ventilation(NIV)(positive pressure ventilation). It delivers a preset inspiratory(breathing in) positive airway pressure (IPAP) and expiratory(breathing out) positive airway pressure (EPAP). BIPAP can be described as a continuous positive airway pressure system with a time-cycled or flow-cycled change of the applied CPAP level. CPAP, BIPAP and other non-invasive ventilation modes have been shown to be effective management tools for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) and acute respiratory failure.

The main purpose of BIPAP ventilation is to push air and oxygen into the lungs, whilst also keeping the lungs and the alveoli inflated, allowing more oxygen to enter the lungs. The main reason for using BIPAP is if your loved one is unable to breathe effectively and therefore is unable to inhale sufficient oxygen into the lungs. BIPAP is an alternative therapy to Intubation and mechanical ventilation. During BIPAP your loved one would get a few breaks to be put back on an oxygen mask, as BIPAP on the one hand can be extremely effective improving oxygenation, but on the other hand can be very tiring.

BIPAP is either used with a specific BIPAP machine or it can be applied using a mechanical ventilator(Ventilators (Breathing Machines). A BIPAP mask is fitted on to your loved ones face and attached to the ventilator with flexible circuits(tubing).

The main use of BIPAP is in Patients with


Example of a full face maskExample of a BIPAP Machine

These images sourced through Google using ‘bipap’ as keyword

How Long is BiPAP therapy being Used?

BIPAP is often used before Intubation or after Extubation. In both cases, this can range from several hours to several days and sometimes several weeks.

If your loved one is requiring ongoing BIPAP or Non-invasive mask ventilation and wants to leave Intensive Care and/or Hospital, check out for more information

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 your loved one.

Any Questions?

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.

The information contained on this page is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual Patient variation. 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. INTENSIVE ARE HOTLINE 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.

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