A white machine with a clear segment behind it. The segment is open. On the front of the machine is a small screen, and there are buttons on top.

Philips Respironics Dreamstation APAP

Prior to beginning on NIV, I used the Philips Respironics Dreamstation, an APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure) machine.

While I can’t compare it to other devices, not having used any other CPAP or APAP devices, I found it an effective and user-friendly device.

Advantages

  • Reasonably compact and lightweight
  • Resilient
  • Built in humidifier
  • Quiet
  • Possible to analyse data using sleepyhead to explore what data was held by the machine and how my breathing was changing over time
  • Technologically advanced

Disadvantages

  • No internal battery – needs to be constantly plugged in
  • Only offers CPAP and VPAP/APAP. This means that it offers either one pressure of air, or a pressure of air that changes based on how much is needed to splint the airway open

Given that it is possible to buy travel batteries for CPAP machines, the lack of internal battery doesn’t particularly need to be a problem, but the settings it offers may be an issue.

If your problem is sleep apnea, especially where second to obesity, then machines like this are excellent for providing the minimum air pressure needed to keep you breathing, and modifying it on the go. If your respiratory problems relate to muscle weakness, then machines like this can be dangerous. This is because they make it harder to breathe out carbon dioxide, and it can build up in your bloodstream.

If this is the case, then a machine like the NIPPY (standing for “non-invasive positive pressure ventilator) 3+ might be more appropriate for you than the Respironics machine. I transferred over to a NIPPY and haven’t looked back since.