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

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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