Frequently asked Questions

Should you have any questions regarding Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation, or any of United Hayek’s ventilation products, please contact us. In the meantime, read through the questions below:

Can Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation (BCV) be used instead of invasive ventilation (IPPV)?

Yes, in most cases BCV can be used instead of invasive ventilation.

Can a tracheostomy be removed if using BCV?

The tracheostomy can be removed provided there is a patent airway and a physician determines that BCV is fulfilling the ventilatory requirements.

Is it possible to use BCV with other forms of ventilation such as mas based or invasive ventilation at the same time?

Yes. BCV van be used either instead of an alternative method of ventilation or in conjunction with another form of ventilation in most cases. 

Can BCV be used long term?

BCV can be used long term, for months, for years or for a lifetime.

When is BCV not suitable?

BCV generally requires a patent airway, and a stable spine. BCV may not be suitable for burn patients in some cases. BCV may not be effective for patients who are morbidly obese. Using BCV during pregnancy is discouraged.

What advantages does BCV have over other forms of non-invasive ventilation such as mask based bi-level ventilation?

BCV is comfortable to use. There are no obstructions to vision or speech as the Cuirass shell is placed over the torso, not over the face. Furthermore, unique to BCV is an active expiratory phase, which bi-level mask based devices do not provide.

Can BCV be self applied?

Yes. In most cases, depending on patient mobility.

Generally yes. However, in some modes of treatment this may not be recommended – for example in secretion clearance mode. If in doubt, consult a physician for advice.
There are no known harmful side effects of using BCV.
Yes. Some BCV devices are battery powered.
Yes, in most cases.
As BCV devices can operate at both high frequencies and have an active expiratory phase, they are able to very effectively control CO2.
Cuirass seals are strictly single patient use for infection control purposes. Typically, one seal per patient per week is sufficient but varies according to the mode and frequency of use.
Yes, in most cases.
Too much to list! Please refer to the BCV publications list or consult our website.
Yes, but it is recommended to wear a lightweight garment such as a sleeveless shirt or t-shirt.
Yes. While an air tight vacuum needs to be created over the chest, the Cuirass seals are soft enough to prevent drains and tubes from becoming occluded.
BCV devices are able to deliver High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO) to loosen the secretions, followed by an assisted cough to help expel them.
A great deal. Whilst both high frequency chest wall compression (HFCWC) systems, such as the Hill-Rom Vest system, and Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation (BCV) systems, such as Hayek BCV, provide secretion clearance treatment and can work at high frequencies, they are two totally different methods, which must be distinguished between. High Frequency Chest Wall Compression has only one active phase (on the chest) and compresses the chest from its initial lung volume (FRC) to below lung volume as it compresses, and then recoils back towards its initial lung volume. It has been shown in animal studies that this may cause reduction in FRC (Zidulka – High Frequency Chest Wall Compression Am Rev of Respir Dis 1982; 127: 709-713) This may not be favorable with patients that have some alveolar collapse, which many of the patients requiring secretion clearance treatment have. The Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation method has two active phases. One increases lung volume to above FRC (initial lung volume) by expanding the chest and only then compressing the chest to the desired level, preserving or augmenting lung volume (and thus avoiding lung collapse), and creating substantial expiratory airflow during secretion clearance and ventilation. This allows for the creation of a very efficient and physiological secretion clearance method. To consider or describe BCV devices as high frequency chest wall compression devices is absolutely incorrect, both in terms of the method used and in terms of the results achieved. BCV devices also have a dedicated cough mode that uses an inverse I:E ratio to provide a long inspiration and a short sharp expiration helping to produce a cough. Vest type devices do not have such capability.
Yes. Please contact your nearest BCV provider or United Hayek for information.
Contact United Hayek to find your nearest vendor. Our contact details are printed on the back page of this booklet.