No assignee for this patent application, patent application serial number 411257, has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates generally to the treatment of respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and more particularly, to methods and systems for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy selectively providing a pressurized flow of breathable gas to a patient utilizing dual pressure sensors at a source and on a ventilation mask.
"Mechanical ventilators comprise medical devices that either perform or supplement breathing for patients. Early ventilators, such as the 'iron lung,' created negative pressure around the patient's chest to cause a flow of ambient air through the patient's nose and/or mouth into the lungs. However, the vast majority of contemporary ventilators instead use positive pressure to deliver gas to the patient's lungs via a patient circuit between the ventilator and the patient. The patient circuit typically consists of one or two large bore tubes (e.g., 22 mm inner diameter for adults; 15 mm inner diameter for pediatrics) that interface to the ventilator on one end and a patient mask on the other end.
"Ventilators may support either a single limb or a dual limb patient circuit. Single limb patient circuits are typically utilized for less acute clinical requirements such as the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea or respiratory insufficiency. In further detail, the single limb patient circuit, as its nomenclature suggests, involves gas flow from the ventilator to the patient and patient mask over a single conduit. The patient inspires fresh gas from the patient circuit, and expires carbon dioxide-enriched gas that is purged from the system through vent holes in the mask.
"One particular application of ventilator devices is in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome, where the patient's upper airway narrows or collapses during sleep. There are repetitive pauses in breathing that may extend in duration up to half a minute. Although some degree of apnea is considered normal, in more severe cases, daytime sleepiness and fatigue may result as a consequence of reduced blood oxygen saturation, as well as constant interruptions to sleep cycles. In order to retain the patient's airway and ensure normal, uninterrupted breathing during sleep, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy may be prescribed.
"Generally, CPAP involves the application of positive pressure to open the patient's airway to prevent its collapse, as would otherwise occur during apnea. In a basic implementation, CPAP therapy applies a constant pressure that is not tied to the patient's normal breathing cycle. The positive airway pressure is desired in the inspiratory phase when the pressure differences between the lungs and the nose contribute to the collapse of the intermediate airway. However, supplying positive pressure flow into the patient during the expiratory phase generates resistance to the patient's breathing efforts, causing discomfort. Furthermore, toward the end of the patient's expiratory phase, flow and pressure in the airway is naturally minimal, such that positive pressure can cause additional discomfort. Notwithstanding the clinician's best efforts to prescribe a CPAP treatment flow rate that minimizes such extraneous pressure augmentation while ensuring the proper splinting of the airway during inspiration, the patient is still subject to higher pressures than needed throughout the breathing cycle.
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