To assist the health care team in observing and documenting recently diagnosed/chronic sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea or other conditions requiring oxygen therapy to ensure proper ventilation of the patient for the purpose of avoiding long term pathologic outcomes and to ensure that patients are aware of the proper functioning of equipment.
In response to a referral from a health authority or primary health care provider, the Community Paramedic (CP) will follow guidelines outlined on the Request for Service form and care plan for follow up on patients requiring CPAP, BiPAP, or oxygen therapy.
It is expected that the CP will document findings and report them to the primary health care provider and collaborate with other health care team members to provide support as appropriate.
BiPAP: Supports spontaneous respiration by providing a positive pressure on inspiration (IPAP – inspiratory positive airway pressure) and a positive pressure on expiration (IEAP – expiratory positive airway pressure).
CPAP: Supports spontaneous respirations by providing one continuous positive pressure on inspiration and expiration to help stent open obstructive airways.
Sleep apnea: A common sleep disorder in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur 30 times or more per hour. As a result, the quality of sleep is poor, which leads to daytime sleepiness.
Obstructive sleep apnea: The most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. Central sleep apnea is less common and occurs if the area of the brain that controls breathing doesn’t send the correct signals to the breathing muscles. As a result, no effort to breathe is made for brief periods (NIH – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; July 10, 2012).
DOCUMENT findings and details of the visit on the CP progress notes and notify primary health care provider or health care team of findings and any concerns.