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28

Healthy Kids Magazine

//

Winter 2018

inside

T

here are different types of positive

airway pressure devices, but generally,

they all work to keep the airway open

during sleep by pushing pressurized air

through a tube into a mask that covers

the nose or nose and mouth. They can

take some getting used to. Some can be

uncomfortable initially, and kids might

have trouble falling asleep with one on. But the Positive

Airway Pressure Therapy Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospi-

tal can help.

Breathing

Easy

In the Spotlight

Giving Back

O Campus Corner

The Positive Airway Pressure Therapy

Clinic helps kids get a good night’s sleep

I N T H E S P OT L I G H T

The PAP Therapy Clinic is specifically for kids who use

one of these devices at night. Its multidisciplinary team,

led by Rakesh Bhattacharjee, MD, helps families under-

stand how PAP devices work; checks out masks, tubes or

the devices themselves if there’s some sort of problem;

advises parents on getting the device’s pressure right;

and provides support while a child adjusts to using one.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition char-

acterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. If left un-

treated, it can lead to a lack of healthy, restful sleep and

possible learning, behavior, growth and heart problems.

In very rare cases, it can even be life-threatening.

Many children who have sleep apnea counter its ef-

fects with PAP devices. These devices also are recom-

mended for kids who’ve had a tonsillectomy but still

have sleep apnea, or who have trouble breathing when

they’re asleep for other reasons. Some children with dis-

orders that affect the brain, breathing passages, lungs or

muscles depend on PAP devices to support their breath-

ing at night.