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"Automatic positive airway pressure" (APAP, AutoPAP, AutoCPAP, BPAP are parallel terms) automatically titrates, or tunes, the amount of pressure delivered to the patient to the minimum required to maintain an unobstructed airway on a breath-by-breath basis by measuring the resistance in the patient's breathing, thereby giving the patient the precise pressure required at a given moment and avoiding the compromise of fixed pressure. Bi-level pressure devices
"VPAP" or "BiPAP" (BiPAP is a trademark of Respironics BiLevel device.) (variable/bilevel positive airway pressure) two levels of pressure are prescribed: inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) and a lower expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) for easier exhalation.
S (Spontaneous): In spontaneous mode the device triggers IPAP when flow sensors detect spontaneous inspiratory effort and then cycles back to EPAP.
T (Timed): In timed mode the IPAP/EPAP cycling is purely machine-triggered, at a set rate, typically expressed in breaths per minute (BPM).
S/T (Spontaneous/Timed): Like spontaneous mode, the device triggers to IPAP on patient inspiratory effort. But in spontaneous/timed mode a "backup" rate is also set to ensure that patients still receive a minimum number of breaths per minute if they fail to breathe spontaneously.