Big Ideas Theater, Episode 8: Adaptive Servo Ventilation and Central Sleep Apnea

 Published: February 21, 2018

By: Heather Willden


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In this episode of Big Ideas Theater, Jessica Schweller MS, RRT, RRT-SDS, RN, CNP, discusses the difference between central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Schweller explains the importance of regular patient evaluation for central sleep apnea because a patient’s health status is ever-changing.

Schweller opens this episode describing how central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea differ and who they are more likely to affect. She explains that obstructive sleep apnea can affect anyone, while central sleep apnea tends to affect older individuals and those on medications.

According to Schweller, central sleep apnea can “sneak up on patients because it can be asymptomatic.” It also poses challenges to treatment, such as cost and the need to conduct multiple studies and tests. Working with servo ventilation for central sleep apnea patients results in having to see the patients more regularly.

“And so, the biggest issue we also have with these patients is that we can’t just follow-up annually,” Schweller said. Even though the machine adjusts for some health changes, the patient’s health status changes so much that it causes a need for additional adjustments.

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Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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