Medical Surgical Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) #1
A client’s sleep study reveals obstructive sleep apnea, and new orders are received for instruction on use of CPAP at bedtime. The nurse will begin instruction by explaining the purpose of the CPAP. What is the best explanation for use of CPAP?
- “The CPAP is a medical device used to keep air passages open while you sleep.”
This answer is correct because CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a medical device used to keep the air passages open during sleep. It keeps the alveoli open, which allows for optimal gas perfusion. Make sure the explanation is not filled with medical jargon, but statements that the client can understand.
- “CPAP stands for continuity of the peripheral airway parameters.”
This answer is not correct because this is an incorrect explanation of what the letters CPAP stand for nor does this statement address an explanation for the use of CPAP.
- “CPAP may be used intermittently through the sleep period.”
This answer is not correct because CPAP must be used continuously, throughout the night, while the client is asleep. Clients with sleep apnea cannot protect their airway while they are sleeping, therefore, in order for the CPAP device to be effective it must be in use at all times during sleep.
- “You may have a small crack of air between the mask and your face to avoid claustrophobia.”
This answer is not correct because the mask should not leak air during use. If the seal is not airtight, then the CPAP will not be completely effective for protecting the client’s airway during sleep.
The focus of this question is education regarding the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for a client with obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is used for sleep apnea clients in order to keep the client’s airway protected and patent while sleeping.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is an important treatment for clients with obstructive sleep apnea. Clients with sleep apnea experience frequent apneic periods or frequent periods of shallow breathing during sleep. By continually applying positive pressure to the airway, the machine maintains airway patency and therefore corrects apenic periods while the client sleeps.
Test Taking Tip
Look at each answer choice carefully and refer back to the stem of the question. This question was asking specifically for an explanation for the use of CPAP. The ONLY answer choice that explained why CPAP is used for sleep apnea clients is answer choice #1.