continuous positive airway pressure

continuous positive airway pressure
continuous positive airway pressure n a technique of assisting breathing by maintaining the air pressure in the lungs and air passages constant and above atmospheric pressure throughout the breathing cycle abbr. CPAP compare POSITIVE END-EXPIRATORY PRESSURE

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(CPAP) a method of positive pressure ventilation used with patients who are breathing spontaneously, in which pressure in the airway is maintained above the level of atmospheric pressure throughout the respiratory cycle. The purpose is to keep the alveoli open at the end of exhalation and thus increase oxygenation and reduce the work of breathing. Cf. positive end-expiratory p.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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