Continuous Positive Airway Pressure devices used to treat sleep apnea
TE Connectivity’s (TE) Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are used to force breathable air into the lungs of patients who suffer from sleep apnea, where breathing unintentionally starts and stops during sleep. Detecting and curing the interval breathing cessation during overnight sleep helps to reduce the risk of hyper blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and relative secondary diseases. Sensors allow for the continuous, accurate control of air flow, pressure, vibration and humidity to keep patients comfortable and safe.
Air Flow, Photo Optic, and Pressure
Mass air flow sensors are designed to measure the input of oxygen levels into the system to provide sufficient air supply. TE’s air flow sensors are board mountable devices that are available in a uni-directional or bi-directional configuration.
Photo optic sensors help doctors diagnose the sleep apnea. Measuring blood oxygen concentration is one of the vital signals to measure the efficiency of breathing during sleep. Sometimes patients complete the action of breath, yet do not inhale enough oxygen into their lungs; consequently the oxygen concentration in the blood is reduced significantly. Photo optic sensors include both photo optic components and complete sensor solutions. The pulse oximetry (SpO2) probe platform includes reusable finger clips, soft silicone boots, and a range of disposable sensor assemblies.
Pressure measurement is crucial to the CPAP system in terms of performance and accuracy. Board mounted pressure sensors are embedded throughout the device, starting with the air chamber. Pressure sensors, such as the MS4515 series, can measure pressure and feed information to a display with more accurate readings than a traditional needle gauge.
The MS4515 pressure sensor can also be used to measure the air pressure after the turbine; this sensor, along with the MS5525 series, has a high tolerance for overpressure with small pressure measurement ranges.
Measuring the breathing pressure can also be critical to a successful system. Variations and vibrations in breathing pressure, such as snoring, can be detected at the turbine respirator during operation.
Carbon dioxide levels during exhalation can be calculated using a differential pressure sensor. By using a differential pressure sensor that can measure a difference in pressure of 2 inches of water column, the CPAP system can better understand the CO2 output of the patient to adjust the input pressure.
Enabling sensor technology, the highly versatile piezoelectric film has a thin cross-section (28μm – 110 μm in thickness) and is flexible, very robust, and chemically inert with the ability to withstand temperatures up to 85°C (125°C with special processing). Piezo film is used in sleep apnea diagnosis equipment and CPAP devices to help doctors and patients know the status of breathing. Rhythmic breath is a key indicator of good sleep, which the Piezo film can detect by measuring vibrations during the breathing process.
Temperature and Humidity Sensors
Sensors are available directly in the vent to measure humidity and temperature from a single device. Temperature and humidity sensors with digital output signals can be embedded close to the mask to get the most accurate measurement of inhalation. Air temperature is usually maintained around 40°C within 0.3°C accuracy. With the added distance from the controls by being located at the mask, the digital output signal avoids signal attenuation.
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