Complica tions

• With mask CPAP there is an increased risk of aspiration as gastric dilatation may occur from swallowed air. Insert nasogastric tube, especially if consciousness is impaired or gastric motility is reduced.

• Reduced cardiac output due to reduced venous return (raised intra-thoracic pressure). May need additional fluid or even inotropes.

• Overinflation leading to air trapping and high PaCO2. Caution is urged in patients with chronic airflow limitation or asthma.

• High levels will reduce venous return and increase intracranial pressure.

• Occasional poor patient compliance with tight-fitting face mask due to feelings of claustrophobia and discomfort on bridge of nose.

• Inspissated secretions due to high flow, dry gas.

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