Central sleep apnoea is an abnormal pattern of breathing commonly seen in heart failure patients. Breathing is characterised by periods of hyperventilation followed by periods of hypoventilation or even a pause in breathing. Sometimes the patient is unaware that they are doing this, although it can be obvious to those around them. Patients are also tired during the day and have abnormal blood pressure patterns.
A collaborative team of researchers at ICCH, including Dr Charlotte Manisty, Dr Resham Baruah and Keith Willson, Principal Research Fellow, is using pioneering technologies to treat sleep-disordered breathing in heart failure patients.
The Intelligent Breathing Project aims to treat sleep apnoea by the delivery of carefully timed doses of carbon dioxide, administered only during pathological breathing episodes according to a novel mathematical model. This improves the stability of patients’ breathing without having to apply the conventional, uncomfortable tight-fitting pressurised face mask used in continuous positive pressure therapy.
This new method of stabilisation has won awards from the Royal Society of Medicine and the Medical Futures Technology organisation of the Department of Health.
Internal view of the prototype Carbon Dioxide Administration System developed for the Intelligent Breathing Project.