Did you know there are numerous CPAP systems for patients, depending on the severity of their condition? CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed, non-invasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
CPAP machines are the standard machine for sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.
A more advanced machine option would be an APAP machine, which is similar to the CPAP machine, except it automatically adjusts to pressures depending on the patient’s specific needs rather than deliver a constant, continuous pressure.
The next tier of sleep apnea machine is a bilevel machine. These are more technologically advanced machines which are often prescribed to patients with more complexed diagnoses.
This article will review the popular ResMed bilevel machine known as the ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto.
What is a Bilevel machine?
As the name would suggest, a bilevel machine is an automatically adjusting machine with two levels of therapy: one level during patient inhalation, and another during patient exhalation.A bilevel machine works similar to a medical ventilator.
This machine can be used for any patient, however, due to its complex technology, it is often reserved for patients who have more complex medical sleep apnea needs, such as those who have been diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, or any other condition which requires assisted breathing.
Pros of the ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto
The ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto is self-described is the next advancement in bi-level therapy. It uses ResMed’s advanced algorithm to adjust pressures during inhalation and exhalation, increasing comfort and patient compliance, while maintaining an open airway. The AirCurve 10 VAuto is indicated for patients weighing over 66 lbs (33kg).
In addition to the separate auto-adjusting pressures, the machine also features the ResMed HumidAir Heated humidification system. The humidification system is built into the machine, meaning it will take up less room on your nightstand.
Users may adjust the level of humidification on a scale of 1 through 8, with 1 being the lowest level of humidification, and 8 being the highest. Patient’s may turn off humidification altogether if it is not desired by selecting level 0.
Patient’s may purchase the optional ClimateLineAir heated tube. The heated tube will maximize the effects of humidification with minimal condensation. This system will automatically adjust humidification levels based on room temperature.
The TiControl feature is unique to the ResMed bilevel machines. This technology monitors the patient’s inhalation and exhalation and compares it to the machine standards. For patients with chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD or obstructive lung disease. If the machine detects the user falling out of the machine’s standard measurements, it will kick in with altered timing of inhalation and exhalation.
The AirCurve 10 VAuto has all the standard pressure relief technology that users expect from a ResMed product. These features include the Expiratory Relief Pressure (ERP), and Easy-Breath, Auto-Adjustments.
The Expiratory Relief Pressure is a technology which helps make the therapy feel more natural by adjusting pressures delivered during inhalation and exhalation.
The Easy Breath option mimics the user’s breathing pattern.
Auto-Adjustments is an option that will change pressure according to the patient’s needs when in that setting.
Two additional features are the Ramp options and Vsync technology. The Ramp option may be used when the machine is in CPAP mode. This will gradually increase pressure and allows patients to fall asleep with increased pressure. The Vsync technology monitors for mask leaks throughout the night and will adjust pressures accordingly.
The screen technology is just as advanced as the medical on this machine. A full-color LCD screen is standard. The menu is user-friendly, being both easy to use and read. An easy grip dial allows quick and simple menu selection.
The light sensor is another standard feature built into this machine. The sensor will automatically adjust to the light in the room and become brighter/dimmer accordingly. This helps ensure a restful night’s sleep for both the patient and their partner.
To ensure patient engagement in their therapy, the machine comes with an SD card to download data from the memory board. The memory board holds detailed data for the last 30 uses and withholds complaint data for the past 365 uses. It should be noted that this machine is wireless, which allows the user to manage their data from their smart devices, as well as transfer their data to their healthcare providers wirelessly.
When purchasing this machine, the patient can expect to receive the bilevel machine, built in humidifier, and water chamber. The set comes with the standard 6 feet of the slimline (15mm) tubing, power supply, and cord, and 1 filter with cover. Additionally, patients will receive a travel bag, SD card, and user manual.
The machine weighs 2.75 lbs (44 oz). The dimensions are 10.04 inches in length, 4.57 inches in width, and 5.91 inches in height.
Tips & Troubleshooting
To maintain use, ResMed recommends the machine be cleaned weekly with a mild detergent. It is not recommended to put the machine or its parts in the dishwasher. The water tub should also be checked regularly for cracks or deposits.
A common concern is condensation within the tubing or mask. This frequently will occur when the humidification levels are too high. Likewise, patients may complain of mouth and nasal dryness and/or irritation. This is frequently associated with too low of humidification settings. Users may need to use trial and error to find the humidification level which is best for them, or they may purchase the ClimateLineAir to automatically adjust their humidification levels.
Overall, this is a great machine with a long-standing record of patient satisfaction. ResMed is known for producing user-friendly products. If you have additional questions regarding your machine, you may contact your provider or the staff at Sleep Resolutions for their expert opinion.