Nippy 3+ ventilator

NIPPY 3+ (Breas medical)

The NIPPY 3+ by Breas Medical is a type of NIPPV – non-invasive positive pressure ventilator. It offers four settings – ‘CPAP’, ‘pressure support’, ‘pressure control’ and IPPV (intermittent positive pressure ventilation).

Each of these settings does something different:

CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) is a mode that delivers air at one singular pressure. This splints your airways open if they close easily (due to conditions like sleep apnea)

Pressure Support is a mode which (as I understand it) waits for you to initiate breathing both in and out, and then supports the breath. If you don’t breathe in soon enough or for long enough, then it triggers a breath for you, and can maintain it for the correct amount of time

Pressure Control is a mode which (as I understand it) waits for you to breathe in, then gives you a breath, before letting you breathe out again. If you don’t breathe in soon enough then it triggers a breath for you

IPPV (intermittent positive pressure ventilation) is different from Pressure Support and Pressure Control, both of which blow air through the tube even when you breath out, to clear CO2 from the tubing. With IPPV, you breathe out down a special exhalation valve, rather than straight into the air. It waits for you to breathe, then gives you a timed length breath, before stopping the air for you to breathe out. If you don’t breathe in soon enough it triggers a breath for you

There are two main modes of non-invasive ventilation – volume controlled, and pressure controlled. The NIPPY is a pressure controlled ventilator, which means that it delivers a set pressure of air to the lung for the correct duration of time. In contrast, a volume controlled ventilator gives your lungs the volume of air they require. This explains more about the differences.

From a patient perspective I struggle with the NIPPY. It’s incredibly heavy – I have no chance of manouvereing it independently, and the buttons are very stiff to press. You can get, and I have, but that is also stiff, which leaves me uncomfortably dependent on others much of the time.

However, the battery life is good, and it seems rugged and portable, so it has advantages.