Healthy Kids Magazine
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.
In the Spotlight
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.