Just one of the advantages of being an asthmatic Respiratory Therapist, though the hospital staff might not be so thrilled. They get a little grouchy when the patients start adjusting ventilator settings 🙂

Now for the serious educational part:

The rational for using non -invasive bipap therapy during a severe asthma exacerbations is simply to reduce the work of breathing, thereby improving ventilation and hopefully reducing the need for intubation. To demonstrate this point, below are my ABGs( arterial blood gasses) taken before and after a one hour trial of Bipap. In the first set, you can see my PCO2 has climbed from a normal value of 35-40 into the 50’s and my Ph has dropped from a normal of 7.4 to 7.2, indicating impending respiratory failure. In the 2nd set drawn one 1 hour after being on Bipap, you can see that my ABGs improved significantly. My Ph has returned to normal and my PCO2 has dropped to an acceptable level. Had I not been put on Bipap, I probably would’ve needed intubation and ended up on a ventilator. Not cool.

ABGs before being placed on Bipap
ABGs before being placed on Bipap
ABGs after being on BIpap for one hour
ABGs after being on BIpap for one hour

As much as I hate that mask being strapped to my face when I can’t breath, it certainly beats the alternative. For more about ABGs, check out this instructional post I wrote a few years back.

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9 thoughts on “Self Service

  1. So, I wish You getting back to normal breathing 🙂 Without oxygen mask. It all looks so dreadfully for me. Well, but I’m simple woman without this kind of gadgets 🙂
    Greetings for You.

  2. The RTs taking care of you must get bored, you do the work for them!
    [And, why is it that a medical device has better graphics than my BlackBerry? AND a touch screen, yet.]

    1. Haha, I know huh. The graphics on these new machines are pretty cool. When I first started working as an RT, ventilators looked like this . And there was no such thing as Bipap.

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