Sleep apnea is a disorder where individuals frequently stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping and as a result they fail to get a restful night's sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart problems and stroke.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This equipment delivers a flow of air at a prescribed amount of pressure applied through a mask over the nose. This pressure prevents the structures in your throat from blocking air movement in and out of your lungs while you sleep. Many individuals experience immediate relief from symptoms by using CPAP therapy. But sometimes this improvement takes time and for some adapting to CPAP use takes a while.
If your doctor has prescribed oxygen and/or a humidifier along with the CPAP system, it is important to use the system exactly as your doctor prescribed. The pressure (and other settings if applicable) has been prescribed specifically to treat your disorder and cannot be changed without consulting your doctor. Read the operating instructions for the system you have been provided. The instructions below should serve as a reference and be used in conjunction with the instructions and protocol set by your health care providers.
Recommended cleaning procedures
Expiration valve (when applicable), nasal mask/pillows should be cleaned each morning.
- Disassemble and wash with liquid dishwashing detergent and warm tap water in clean basin or container.
- Rinse well with clear, warm running tap water; proper rinsing reduces the potential for skin irritation resulting from soap residue.
- Air dry.
- Reassemble when dry.
- If still damp when ready to use, assemble the nasal mask/pillow to the swivel and then to the hose. Attach the other end of the hose to the flow generator. Turn the generator on and allow these items to blow dry for 10 to 20 minutes.
Flow generator cabinet
- Once a week, unplug the unit and wipe the outside of the cabinet with a cloth slightly dampened with warm water.
- NEVER immerse the unit in water or allow water to enter any vents or ports.
- Make sure the unit is completely dry before plugging in.
Clean and/or replace filters as instructed by our representative (Refer to operating instructions).
Humidifier (if applicable)
- Clean and disinfect humidifiers, if applicable, as instructed (Refer to operating instructions).
- Keep your humidifier below head level while in use to prevent water that condenses from flowing into the nose.
Headgear/Softcap and Straps
- These items should be washed by hand or in the washing machine once a week using a mild detergent and warm water.
- NEVER place in a dryer. Always hang to dry.
- Washing your face with soap and water to remove excess facial oils before putting on the nasal mask helps prolong the life of the mask and headgear/softcap, and straps.
- Once the straps are properly adjusted, the mask and headgear/softcap can be removed and reapplied by unfastening or loosening one strap only. You can mark the positions where the end of each strap is fastened to the Velcro with a permanent marker for easy adjustment after washing.
- A tighter fit is not necessarily better. It can be as loose as desired as long as you are able to maintain a seal.
- If you are using a room humidifier, please be sure that it is placed at least six feet from your CPAP system.
- If supplemental oxygen is being used in conjunction with your system, this equipment must be kept away from heat or open flame. Smoking in the area of this device is absolutely prohibited.
- When using supplemental oxygen, make sure that the CPAP system is on BEFORE the oxygen source is turned on. Turn the oxygen flow off BEFORE turning the CPAP system off.
- To avoid electrical shock, unplug the unit before cleaning or changing the fuses.
- The system must be positioned on its base on a level, secure surface for proper operation.
- DO NOT block the vents and filter openings of your unit. Air must flow freely around the unit for the system to work properly. Make sure bedding, draperies, curtains, etc. do not restrict airflow.
- Tobacco smoke will cause tar build-up that may result in the units malfunctioning. Do not permit smoking in the room with the unit.
- Do not use the system around water, other than that contained in the humidifier because electrical shock may occur. Your doctor, through appropriate diagnostic studies and monitoring, must determine all settings. These settings are to be adjusted only by authorized personnel in compliance with your doctor's prescription.
- This system must never be turned on and left unattended.
- If your system is dropped or otherwise damaged, or if any liquid is spilled into the system, do not use.
- Make sure that all fittings and connections have been properly secured prior to use. The exhalation port/valve on your mask system is designed to exhaust carbon dioxide from the patient circuit. Continuous flow is required for safe operation. Do not block or try to seal the exhalation opening.
- When using a mask that covers your mouth and nose, do not eat or drink for 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.
- Read and understand your operating instructions prior to using your system.
- It is recommended that you not plug your system into an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch.
- Your system is not intended for life support.
There are no user-serviceable components in your system. DO NOT attempt to open the enclosure to service this device.
At least once a year arrangements should be made to have your unit tested. This checkup is necessary to assure the long life of your unit and to ensure you are getting the treatment prescribed by your doctor. With typical use, the hose, mask/nasal pillows, and headgear/softcap may need to be replaced once or twice a year and the hose annually.
Refer to the operating instructions for such common problems as air leaks around the mask; sore or dry eyes; skin irritation; dryness or burning sensation in the throat, nose, or nasal sinuses, or ear pain; feeling that the pressure is too high or too low; air from the device seems warm; etc. The operating instructions will give possible causes and instructions to solve the problem.
Fill out this form and take it with you:
__________ cm H2O pressure
__________ Maximum ramp time
__________ O2 Lpm (if ordered)
__________ Humidifier (if ordered)
__________ Nasal Mask / Pillow Size
__________ Spacer (if applicable)
__________ Headgear / Softcap size
__________ Chin Strap (if applicable)
___________ Electrical adaptors for different enviornments