The NHS defines COPD as the collective name for a group of lung conditions causing breathing difficulties. The breathing problems tend to worsen over time. Therefore, limiting normal activities such as cooking, shopping, getting dressed and personal care. However, treatment can help keep the condition under control.
Research done by the British Lung Foundation estimates that there are 1.2 million people in the UK diagnosed with COPD. Consequently, making COPD is the second most common lung disease in the UK, after asthma.
Many people who have been diagnosed with COPD, suffer from hypercapnia. Hypercapnia is the retention of too much carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide is normally exhaled from the lungs as a person breathes. Hypercapnia can be treated by non-invasive ventilation. Otherwise, by a machine with a mask assisting with breathing.
In a recent study published by Mayo Clinic reported by News Medical, researchers have outlined the benefits of in-home, non-invasive, ventilation therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The in-home breathing device includes a type known as bilevel positive airway pressure or BiPAP.
There were several benefits found by the research team when using a BiPAP. Including:
The above study was led by Dr. Michael Wilson, M.D. who is pulmonology and critical care physician at Mayo Clinic. He explained, “We still have a lot more to learn about which machine settings are best for different types of patients.”. The research showed that patients making use of a non-invasive ventilation device compared to those using no device were significantly associated with lower mortality. Furthermore, the use of a non-invasive ventilator also proved fewer A&E department visits and hospitalisations. In conjunction with lower rates of intubation if patients were admitted to hospital.
At Cavendish Homecare we aim to keep up-to-date on healthcare developments, enabling us to share them with our audience. While there does seem to be evidence that using BiPAP machines is beneficial to people suffering from COPD, we recommend that you follow the guidance given by your GP and medical professionals team before exploring non-invasive ventilation therapy.