Respiratory Therapist Offers Cleaning Tips for CPAP Users

SPRINGFIELD — For those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, taking care of their CPAP machine is an important part of their daily health plan. Proper maintenance will ensure that CPAP equipment performs at the level the body needs.
“Your CPAP machine helps you to avoid the dangers associated with sleep apnea, and it’s recommended that you have your machine checked once a year to make sure that the pressure is set correctly and everything is working properly,” said Joan Gunpat, respiratory therapist from Baystate Home Infusion & Respiratory Services.
In addition, she offered some tips on the best ways to keep the machine clean, free of harmful germs and bacteria, and operating efficiently.
It’s recommended to change the water in the machine daily. During use, bacteria can travel back into the water, which can contaminate the lungs and can cause a respiratory infection.
After each use, wipe down the mask with a wetnap or baby wipe to remove excess skin oils. The oils from the skin can prevent the mask from sealing properly. Be sure to wash the mask thoroughly at least once a week with a mild soap (like Dove) and warm water. Steer clear of harsh chemicals, which can damage the mask seal.
It’s highly recommended to replace the mask cushion once a month. Time can cause the seal to break down, which can weaken the seal and prevent the device from working properly.
Be sure to change the filter on a monthly basis. Dust can build up from the environment and can cause the user to get sick with a respiratory infection.
Keep the hoses clean and wash them with a mild soap and water if any buildup becomes noticeable. If any water or condensation is visible in the tube, be sure to hang the hose in the shower until it has dried completely.
If you have a cold, clean all parts of the machine daily. If it’s a bad cold, don’t use the machine until you feel better, to prevent reinfection.
Be sure to get new supplies every three to six months or as needed. This will maintain the overall cleanliness of the machine and help avoid illnesses.
For additional information, call the Baystate Home Infusion & Respiratory Services Medical Retail Store at (413) 967-2855.

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