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BiPAPĀ stands for bilevel positive airway pressure, If you have trouble breathing, a BiPap machine can help push air into your lungs. You wear a mask or nasal plugs that are connected to the ventilator. The machine supplies pressurized air into your airways. It is called ā€œpositive pressure ventilationā€ because the device helps open your lungs with this air pressure.

BiPAP may help you if you have a medical problem that impairs your breathing. For example, you might need BiPap if you have any of the following:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma flare-up
  • Poor breathing after an operation
  • Neurological disease that disturbs breathing

BiPap is usually very safe. It has a lower risk of complications, such as infection, compared with ventilator support like a tracheostomy.

The BiPAP machine pressurizes the air to a higher level than the air in the room, and so it helps a person to take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. This helps them to breathe more easily, either while sleeping or when experiencing a flare-up of symptoms.