Definition of terminology:

BIPAP – Bi-level positive airway pressure) relating to the two pressures that the machine delivers

COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have become narrowed.

Two of these lung conditions are long-term (or chronic) bronchitis and emphysema, which can often occur together.

  • Bronchitis means the airways are inflamed and narrowed. People with bronchitis often produce sputum or phlegm.
  • Emphysema affects the tiny air sacs at the end of the airways in your lungs, where oxygen is taken up into your bloodstream. They break down and the lungs become baggy and full of bigger holes that trap air. As COPD progresses, it is more likely that HMV will be needed.

CPAP – Continuous Positive Air Pressure is a device that is used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnoea by keeping the airway open while the patient sleeps and preventing the airway from collapsing.

Exacerbation – an acute increase in the severity/worsening of the condition

EPAP – Expiratory Positive Airways Pressure

HMV – Home Mechanical Ventilation

Humidifier – puts moisture into the air and alleviates the side effects of nose bleeds and /or mouth dryness.

Hypercapnia –  a build-up of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.

Hypoxia – is a condition where not enough oxygen makes it to the cells and tissues in the body.

Inspiratory Positive Airways Pressure (IPAP) – During inspiration, taking in air, the inspiratory positive airway pressure, or IPAP, forces air into the lungs—thus less work is required from the respiratory muscles.

Long Term Oxygen Therapy (LTOT) – Long-term administration of oxygen (usually at least 15 hours daily) improves survival in COPD patients with more severe hypoxaemia.

Long Term Ventilation (LTV) – is defined as ‘ventilation provided every day for 3 months (invasive and non-invasive) where the intention is/was to maintain the patient at home on continued ventilatory support

Mouth drop – this is a term used when the mouth falls open while a patient is asleep.

Non Invasive Ventilation (NIV) refers to the method of delivery being via a mask and not invasively via a tube in the mouth or neck.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a sleep-related respiratory condition, leading to the repeated temporary stopping of breathing because of a narrowing or closure of the upper airway during sleep. OSA, when untreated, deprives people of healthy sleep, which can cause severe daytime sleepiness.

Tracheostomy – this is a surgical procedure that consists of making a cut in the windpipe (trachea). One of the reasons it is done is to allow oxygen to be delivered to the lungs.