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Respiratory Equipment

Ventilators

A ventilator is an automatic mechanical/pneumatic machine that assists a patient who is unable to breathe on their own by expanding the chest and/or lowering the diaphragm. This process causes air to enter the lungs. The positive-pressure ventilator pumps air into the lungs. The negative-pressure ventilator reduces pressure in the chest causing air to flow into the lungs.

Typically the ventilator is inserted into the trachea through a persons mouth or nose. A ventilator can be used to help patients with asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulomonary disease (COPD).

Nebulizers

A small volume nebulizer consists of a compressor to which tubing is attached. The tubing is then connected to a nebulizer medication cup that is fitted with a mouthpiece or mask. The medicated mist is breathed in through a mouthpiece or mask attached to the nebulizer device, which is driven via plastic tubing. This helps to loosen the mucus in the lungs so it can be coughed out more easily; used in the treatment of diseases such as pneumonia, chronic, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

An ultrasonic nebulizer transports a very dense mist to the patient. Water particles are nebulized by means of sound waves that produce finer particles of moisture. Small-volume, hand-held, portable, battery-operated ultrasonic nebulizers are also available.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

The CPAP system is an electronically operated unit that delivers a prescribed level of positive pressure non-invasively to the upper airway for the treatment of sleep apnea. The CPAP provides low-pressure airflow to the airways by means of a nasal mask that fits over the nose or nasal pillows, which are inserted into the nostrils. Air pressure holds the airway open, preventing the collapse of the palate and tongue over the air passage. Accessories such as nasal interface applications and humidification devices are provided to ensure patient compliance.

Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) Without Rate

Some patients feel more comfortable with a bi-level unit such as the BiPAP-S. The BiPAP-S delivers bi-level ventilation in the spontaneous mode. The patient initiates all breaths. No ventilator respiratory rate is set. Standard CPAP units maintain the same pressure while a patient inhales and exhales. A bi-level unit has different pressures for inhalation and exhalation. Many patients report that the bi-level unit's lower expiratory pressure makes it easier for them to exhale, so they feel more comfortable. To qualify for an intermittent assist device, there may need to be a documented unsuccessful use of CPAP.

Infant Apnea Monitor

Apnea monitors are used commonly for children who are at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This machine monitors each breath and heartbeat. An alarm goes off if the patient stops breathing for 20 seconds or if the heart rate slows down to below 80 beats per minute. Other equipment includes an adequate supply of lead wires, permanent or disposable electrodes, and a belt to keep the electrodes in place.

Oral Suction

A suction machine creates a negative pressure like a vacuum. The machine pulls mucous and other secretions out of the patient's airway. It is used with disposable catheters to remove secretions in patients with compromised cough mechanism or tracheostomy. Suction may be done orally in the back of the mouth or through the trachea for patients with a tracheostomy.

Pulse Oximetry

Pulse oximetry provides estimates of arterial oxyhemoglobin (the predominate protein in red blood cells) saturation (SaO2) by utilizing selected wavelengths of light to noninvasively determine the saturation of oxyhemoglobin.