BiPAP/VPAP ST, ST-A and ASV Machines
BiPAP or VPAP ST, ST-A and ASV are types of bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP/BPAP) machines used to treat sleep apnea and help individuals with certain heart and lung conditions achieve better oxygenation. VPAP stands for Variable Positive Airway Pressure and is a brand name used by ResMed to refer to their BiPAP devices. Like less complicated auto BiPAP and BiPAP S machines, BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines provide two levels of pressure: a higher pressure during inhalation and a lower pressure during exhalation. However, they come with additional therapy settings that are not found in auto and spontaneous BiPAPs.
BiPAP ST (Spontaneous Timed) machines are designed to provide a mix of spontaneous and timed breaths. In BiPAP ST mode, the machine augments the user’s spontaneous breaths and also delivers a breath if the user doesn’t take a breath within the set breathing period. BiPAP ST-A machines also have a ST mode but they include additional modes that automatically adjusts pressure support to ensure the user receives the target volume of air. This target volume is set by a medical professional based on the user’s height. It can also be learned by the machine.
BiPAP ASV (Adaptive Servo-Ventilation) machines come with an advanced algorithm that promotes a natural breathing pattern. These machines continuously monitor breathing, automatically adjusting pressure support and delivering breaths when necessary to maintain a normal breathing pattern.
Why do I need a BiPAP/VPAP ST, ST-A or ASV machine?
BiPAP ST and ST-A machines are used to treat individuals with one or more of the following conditions:
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Neuromuscular Diseases (NMD)
- Other conditions that restrict lung capacity
BiPAP ASV machines are used to treat individuals with one or more of the following conditions:
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
- Complex Sleep Apnea
How do I choose a BiPAP/VPAP ST, ST-A or ASV machine?
Here are some important factors to keep in mind to ensure you get the best return on your investment.
- Prescription: A medical professional, usually a sleep doctor, will provide you with a prescription with the type of BiPAP device you need and the specific settings. If you are unsure which BiPAP machine can accommodate your prescription, our medical staff can help. Get in touch with us and we will point you in the right direction. Alternatively, you can read our comprehensive guide on the different types of CPAP and BiPAP machines. The guide covers how each type of device works and includes sample prescription settings for each type of machine.
- Humidification: All BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines should come with a heated humidifier or have the ability to connect to an external one. Humidification helps alleviate dryness and discomfort in the nose and throat and is important when using BiPAP machines because BiPAP pressure settings tend to be on the higher side.
- Cost: BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines are sophisticated devices with a high price point ranging from $3000 to $3500 depending on the exact type and brand. If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover the machine, you may want to consider renting or purchasing through a payment plan.
- Brand: When you depend on a machine to improve your oxygenation and ensure you take enough breaths, choosing a reputable brand is essential. If you are ever in doubt, speak with your sleep physician before buying or renting. Our medical team is also available to help you make sense of your prescription and machine needs.
- Data Recording and Monitoring: All BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines should be able to record your sleep data in the device itself and/or on an external storage device such as an SD card. This is important for proper physician follow-up. If you prefer even more physician involvement in your therapy, look for devices that allow doctors to monitor data and adjust settings remotely.
BiPAP/VPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machine features to look for
Here is a list of basic machine features you should expect from any BiPAP/VPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machine.
- Data Tracking and Reporting: BiPAP/VPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines can track detailed data such as usage hours, pressure settings, and the frequency of apneas and hypopneas. Some devices can also remotely transmit data to medical professionals.
- Leak Compensation: This feature compensates for minor leaks around the mask to ensure therapy effectiveness.
- Heated Humidifier: Like standard BiPAPs, BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines come with built-in or external heated humidifiers that add moisture to the air for enhanced comfort. Keep in mind that external humidifiers may need to be purchased separately.
- Heated Tube: Most BiPAPs with humidifiers support heated tubing which prevents condensation by keeping the temperature consistent along the length of the tube. Heated tubing is almost always an optional add-on.
- Supports Supplemental Oxygen: Oxygen can be added to BiPAP ST, ASV and ST-A machines via an oxygen enrichment adapter or a machine specific hose with a special oxygen port. The maximum amount of oxygen that can be added to the circuit varies with the type of BiPAP device.
- Safety Alarms: BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV machines should come equipped with alarms that alert users to any machine malfunction during use. The type and number of alarms vary based on the type of BiPAP machine.