continuous positive airways pressure

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continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) (kŏn-tin-yoo-ŭs) n. an air pressure in the range 5–30 cm H2O (1.2–7.5 mPa). It can be applied to the upper airways using a full face mask or a nasal mask only (nCPAP). It is used in high-dependency units to optimize oxygen delivery to patients who are being weaned from ventilators and on patients at home with sleep apnoea syndrome.