In case no one has informed you lately, there is now new hope for Respiratory Failure patients in their own home. In days past, typical COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) patients that retain CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) had little choice but to go to the emergency room and incur a hospital stay; typically in the Intensive Care Unit bipap machine. Mechanical ventilation or some other type of respiratory assist device would be used to help get their carbon dioxide levels under control and they would be sent back home, only to repeat the process several days later.
Now, thanks to Phillips/Respironics and your local durable medical equipment (DME) company—you have a new option. The device is called a Trilogy and operates as a ventilator does, but does so non-invasively. That means no tube has to be put into the trachea and the device can be used with a mask, similar to a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or BiLevel machine. This means the patient’s comfort level is increased tremendously and they can breathe much easier as well.
I recently had a patient tell me, “This thing has changed my life. In fact, I believe it’s saved my life because before using it, I could never get enough air.” Testimonials such as this one are numerous and those of us working in the medical field are delighted to hear them. Making a difference in someone’s life and taking care of problems are some of the main reasons most of us are in the medical field.
On the technical side, the Phillips/Respironics Trilogy can used both invasively and non-invasively and the controls and parameters are adjustable in much the same way hospital ventilators are. Modes of ventilation offered are VC, PC, AC, SIMV and BiPAP S, T or S/T. You can set the Tidal Volumes, Frequency, Inspiratory Time, choose between Square and Ramp wave forms and it includes all the bells and whistles that are typical of most vents. The advantage for someone requiring control of their CO2 retention is that the device can not only offer tidal volume control, but also has pressure support in it’s AVAPS setting, making the device easier to breathe through than a standard Bilevel device.