Respiratory failure is a syndrome in which the respiratory system fails in one or both of its gas exchange functions: oxygenation and carbon dioxide elimination. In practice, it may be classified as either hypoxemic or hypercapnic.

  • HypoxemicHypoxemic respiratory failure (type I) is characterized by an arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) lower than 60 mm Hg with a normal or low arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2). This is the most common form of respiratory failure, and it can be associated with virtually all acute diseases of the lung, which generally involve fluid filling or collapse of alveolar units. Some examples of type I respiratory failure are cardiogenic or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, pneumonia, and pulmonary hemorrhage.
  • HypercapnicHypercapnic respiratory failure (type II) is characterized by a PaCO2 higher than 50 mm Hg. Hypoxemia is common in patients with hypercapnic respiratory failure who are breathing room air. The pH depends on the level of bicarbonate, which, in turn, is dependent on the duration of hypercapnia Common etiologies include drug overdose, neuromuscular disease, chest wall abnormalities, and severe airway disorders.

In respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation is used for 2 essential reasons: (1) to increase Pa O2 and (2) to lower Pa CO2. Mechanical ventilation also rests the respiratory muscles and is an appropriate therapy for respiratory muscle fatigue.

How Does BCV Impact These Patients?

Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation (BCV) can be used effectively to ventilate a patient with hypercapnia and acute or chronic ventilatory failure. The patient’s work of breathing, the use of accessory muscles and tachypnea will decrease when BCV is implemented. Alveolar recruitment will improve gas exchange and facilitate the management of secretions. BCV has shown to have similar gas exchange benefits as active proning when used on infants and small children. As noted in the January 2020 Respiratory Care Journal, “Negative pressure ventilation successfully supported 69% of pediatric subjects with acute respiratory failure with a complication rate of < 2%.”

Increased Lung Recruitment

  • BCV works in conjunction with your bodies physiology to naturally fill more of the lung with air

Better Patient Experience

  • By allowing patients to continue to eat and drink, as well as speak to their loved ones, BCV fosters patient independence, and active involvement with their treatment.

Increased Cardiac Output

  • A brief period of cuirass NPV increases cardiac output of patients.

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