CPAP therapy is a well-established mode of noninvasive respiratory support for spontaneously breathing patients.
Image illustrating the effect of CPAP on an infant lung under respiratory distress. In the absence of any positive airway pressure (right), FRC is decreased, resistance is high resulting in alveolar collapse. With the application of positive airway pressure (left), FRC is effectively maintained thus reducing atelectasis.
Changing trends in respiratory support. Non-invasive modes of respiratory support such as CPAP are increasingly being used in place of invasive ventilation in clinical practice.
Graphical representation of bubble CPAP generated pressure oscillations. Pressure vs. Time plot shows how pressure oscillations vary over time (green line) and the resulting mean airway/NP pressure (solid blue line).
Randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews have evaluated the use of CPAP as primary and postextubation respiratory support for premature and low-birth-weight neonates with RDS, in both in the acute and recovery phases of this condition. 3,5,6
In premature infants, RDS is the most common respiratory condition that CPAP has been used for since the 1970s.18,19 Several studies, which include randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews, have evaluated the use of CPAP as a mode of respiratory support in preterm neonates and infants with RDS. This research shows that CPAP is an effective mode of respiratory support for neonates with RDS.3,13,20-22
During CPAP therapy, continuous distending pressure is generated throughout the respiratory cycle, and a heated and humidified mixture of air and oxygen is delivered.
Heated and humidified gas is an important aspect of delivering CPAP therapy, assisting with the natural defense mechanisms, maintaining airway mucosa and mucociliary function and promoting conservation of energy for growth and development.23,24