Volume XL Issue 2 MG Communicator

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BiPAP for Myasthenia Gravis: Pitfalls and Lessons Learned
BiPAP (Bi-level positive airway pressure) is a common intervention to help avoid intubation for MG patients who are in myasthenic crisis. BiPAP functions like a ventilator but uses a tight-fitting mask on the face to avoid having a tube inserted into the trachea. BiPAP provides breathing assistance with air pressure to push air into the lungs, reducing the work of weakened respiratory muscles. The air pressure drops immediately after each inhalation to allow patients to exhale easily.

I am sharing my story to bring about awareness of an alternative to invasive intubation and hopefully prevent the same problems I encountered. I have had Myasthenia Gravis for the past 6 years and last year I noticed that it was hard for me to breathe when I was laying down flat in bed. I realized that my respiratory function was declining so I went to see a local pulmonologist in the hope of getting a home BiPAP machine to help me breathe. This should have been a relatively simple endeavor. It was not. I am sharing my story to hopefully prevent other MG patients from having to go through the same problems that I went through.


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