Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a noninvasive modality used to increase intrathoracic pressures to help alleviate patient discomfort, hypoxemia, and increased work of breathing.
CPAP has been used in various forms and called by several names since 1912, but the modern term “CPAP” and its use emerged in the 1980s as a treatment for pulmonary edema secondary to congestive heart failure (CHF).
In the hospital, CPAP is often utilized as a final phase of mechanical ventilation weaning. CPAP is used in the home setting for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, and prehospital emergent use is starting to surface as a proven modality to try to reduce intubation of patients.
Some complications to include when considering CPAP are gastric distention, hypotension, corneal drying, and pneumothorax.
Keyword: cpap pulmonary edema.