Vomiting into Bipap mask!

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Danijela

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Hi All,

my partner has several Bipap masks and now we alternate between different types to avoid pressure sores.

While wearing a full face mask (which he can not remove by himself due to hand weakness) he felt sick (middle of the night) and vomited. This was very scary as the air kept blowing as I was struggling to turn off the machine and remove the mask, fearful of choking. He was fine once the mask was off, he said he felt very bloaty from swallowing the air and hence suddenly sick.

I am thinking that perhaps the settings are not right as one should not feel sick while using Bipap. Any comments and insights are welcome.

Dani
 

olly

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hi dani.
i am so sorry to hear this,it must indeed have been very frightening.
it does seem that the pressure /settings may be too high causing the sickness.
can you call someone like his gp to get advice?
i hope you can sort it out and he does not have another episode.
 

GA-yaya

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That had to be so frightening! I am so sorry that happened.
Maybe see if the BiPap provider can check the settings to see if they need to be adjusted. He shouldn't feel as if he is swallowing air - how uncomfortable!
Good luck. :)
 

rose

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Dani, I've had problems (always) with swallowing air when using bipap. It seems like it occurs when I can't relax enough to fall asleep. I am never aware of it when I'm actually asleep, but that's not to say it doesn't happen.

My guess is that his EXPIRATION pressure is too high. In the past my RT adjusted this, and it helped greatly.

Other than changing air pressure settings, and this won't work for Laurence when he's wearing the full face mask, is to let air escape out of my mouth for a few breaths, and try to force extra out. ( What would really help is to be able to belch like a guy lol) .

Sometimes I push the mask up on my forehead for a handful of breaths. I've been fortunate in being able to wear a nasal mask (triangle shaped, not with nasal pillows) and keep the straps loose enough to where I can do this without having to unfasten the straps.

It took a trial of tiny adjustments to get it where there is no air escaping, but yet not too much pressure anywhere. It can be done. The straps can almost be loose, but if the ratio is correct once the seal forms the mask stays put. Having Laurence lay down and try very very small changes to upper, or lower straps will eventually find a place to where no air escapes around seal, and there are no pressure points. Hard to believe but true. I wake up in the morning with no red places on my face, sometimes just a crease, like a mark from a rumpled sheet on my cheek from the side straps, nothing on the bridge of my nose at all.

Once headgear settings are a close as you think to optimal, take a permanent colored marker, and make colored dots on straps in order to match them back up to the same place for future use. It probably won't show up on the flat part of straps, but on the edge it will. Not super bright, but enough to see, until the strap naturally stays bent a little bit from being folded over at the same place for a period of time. If it turns out the straps still need more changes after you've marked them, just use a different colored marker to update.

If he starts using it during the day when he's not laying down, seriously consider using an entirely different headgear so that the tightness is correct for both positions/activities. There is no way headgear that fits when laying down will still fit correctly when upright.


I know that had to be frightening for both of you, not to mention the gross-out factor. Swallowing air, and also having ears clog up is a fairly common problem I believe. My right ear goes through periods where it clogs, lately (crossing my fingers) that is all good.
 

Jellycat

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Oh Dani, how aweful and frightening. Have you recovered from the shock? Have you got someone in the hospital you can call. Maybe a respiratory nurse? Somehow I've found them full of know how in a way the drs haven't time for. Our experience is the same as Rose's on the mask front. Mum has very sensitive skin, marks with the least thing but using a full face mask and having it so the seal is there but the mask is able to give a bit with each breath has worked for us without any sores so far. Mind you we're only using it since December - about 9-10 hours in 24. Thinking of you.
 

BarryG

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I have had a couple of barf in the mask episodes and several more where I felt I could have. The two times that I did vomit, once was because I had laid down to soon after a feed and the other was due to mucous in my throat. I still have the hands and arms to remove my full face mask (but not put it on) so I took it off but it was still really scary.
The near misses were because of too high a pressure setting pumping me full of air but once I elevated my head I could belch the feeling away.

Good luck
 

rose

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....I could belch the feeling away.

Good luck
show off! I wish I was a good belcher! When my younger son was about 14 he used to entertain us by burping the alphabet.
 

rcharlton

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Poor Laurence - and Barry. What a nightmare. I am so terrified of this happening to me as I can't remove my mask either - but I guess it's only a matter of time.
 

pudge44

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MY husband was just tested for his bi pap & he felt affixiated he has bulbar ALS this might have something to do with the latter, how awful to be vomiting & trying to breathe i hope you get this sorted so it does not happen again.((((((hugs to you both)))))))))))))
 

Danijela

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Thanks everyone for your kind words of support, and as ever really good suggestions. As Barry pointed out having food followed by lying down may have played a part in this episode. And swallowing the air! We will double check at the clinic at the end of April that the settings are correct.

I was also wondering if anybody knows whether different types of masks require different settings. I recall reading somewhere that full face masks, for example, may require higher settings due to 'dead space' than smaller, more compact masks.

Dani
 
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