Could you imagine starting a new therapy with no hands-on guidance?
It would be so difficult to learn the intricacies of something this foreign without the step-by-step direction from a professional. This is why Breathe Medical, first and foremost, takes patient care and PAP therapy seriously and provides an excellent support system with patients and respiratory therapists.
Respiratory therapist setups are one-on-one directly with the patient, usually in a patient’s home, in order to familiarize the patient with the entire PAP therapy setup that they need to get used to. A one-on-one setup covers the following topics:
- What Sleep Apnea & AHI Is
- Type of PAP Therapy & Usage
- Mask Types
- Patient Mask Preference
- Taking Care of Your Equipment
- Cleaning Schedule
- Replacing Supplies
What is Sleep Apnea & AHI?
For most people, sleep apnea doesn’t mean much besides snoring during sleep. However, ignoring the signs or symptoms of snoring, daytime drowsiness, or restless sleep can lead to serious long-term consequences. The respiratory therapist will dive into the potential consequences of untreated sleep apnea and how patient can combat the negative consequences. The goal of giving patients a better night of sleep will also be measured with AHI.
AHI (apnea-hypopnea index) is represented by the number of apnea and hypopnea events per hour of sleep – basically, whenever your breathing stops or slows down to abnormal levels all adds up to AHI levels that can range from nearly zero to severe. The lower the AHI, the better the patient’s circumstances will be.
- 0 – 4: Normal
- 5 – 14: Mild
- 15 – 29: Moderate
- Greater than or Equal to 30: Severe
Types of PAP Therapy & Usage
The most common machine dispensed for obstructive sleep apnea is the CPAP machine. A BiPap machine may also be dispensed for obstructive sleep apnea if the patient is unable to tolerate CPAP therapy. An ASV machine is dispensed for central and complex sleep apnea.
The goal is to have the patient use their machine at least 6-8 hours per night. Continuous usage at 6-8 hours per night is the only way someone will see positive PAP therapy results.
The machines and equipment are all designed with a patient’s comfort and treatment in mind, so the respiratory therapist will guide everyone through the useful features and cloud technology that comes with modern CPAP machines. Notable features of PAP therapy machines include:
- Heated Humidifier
- Wireless Modem for compliance and MyAir/Dream Mapper Reports
- Auto Ramp/Ramp Features
- Run Mask Fit Test
- Airplane Mode
Mask Type & Preference
The entire setup will take about 1 hour. The respiratory therapist will begin with a series of questions to help determine the type of mask that will best suit the patient.
Once the type of mask has been chosen, the respiratory therapist will guide each patient through assembly and disassembly of the machine and equipment. One of the most important aspects of effective PAP therapy is cleaning the equipment for optimal functionality, so the RT will go through daily and weekly cleaning guidelines.
- Wipe down the mask with a damp towel, submerge it in a mild detergent and warm water to remove any debris, oil, or sweat that could prevent a good seal, then wipe it with a clean towel and let it air-dry.
- For your water chamber, empty any leftover water each morning and refill it with more distilled water to keep your humidifier fresh and prevent any mineral buildup.
- If you’re sick, clean your equipment DAILY to eliminate the germs.
- Wash your water chamber in the sink with mild soapy water and let it air-day before putting it back on the machine.
- Use ammonia-free mild detergent to get rid of dust, bacteria, and any other germs from tubing, mask, and headgear by submerging them in a mild detergent and warm water for 5 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the equipment before letting it air-dry and hanging the tubing to let all the excess water out.
- Do not place your equipment in direct sunlight to avoid accelerated deterioration of the equipment.
- Be sure to make cleaning a regular part of your morning to give enough time for your equipment to air-dry before bedtime!
Replacing Your Supplies
The most vital aspect of effective PAP therapy is replacing the equipment before the wear and tear prevents optimum treatment in your nightly usage goals. The usual replacement guideline will be the following:
Every 1 Month:
- Mask Cushion
Every 3 Months:
- Mask & Headgear
- CPAP Tubing
Every 6 Months:
- Mask & Headgear
- CPAP Tubing
- Water Chamber
Bottom Line: We want to make sure you are fully equipped to start your PAP therapy off on the right foot, so these one-on-one respiratory therapist setups are solely for the patients to benefit from a solid PAP therapy foundation with a knowledgeable professional.
Need to Clean Your CPAP?
Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Procrastination and PAP Therapy do NOT go together.
- Make a schedule.
- Be consistent.
- Mild detergent only.
- Always air dry.
- No excuses!
How often do you forget to do something?
If you’re one of the many people who are just overwhelmed in the day and lose track of all the tasks you have to complete in a 24-hour period, take a gander at these tips listed above for the best ways to at least get your PAP therapy! We’ll elaborate on each of the steps below.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”pencil-2″ wrap=”span”] Make a schedule.
Getting these cleaning tasks down on paper or a calendar will get you to a point where cleaning your equipment is like second nature. You won’t even wonder: “When do I clean my water chamber again? Oh, it’s my daily 7am activity to change out the distilled water and clean the chamber with mild detergent – it’s right there on my calendar.”
“Did I already wash my tubing with mild detergent and let it air dry? Oh, there’s that phone reminder to do that! Let me get to it.”
“Let me check what’s on my scheduler today – oh, I still need to wipe down my mask with a damp towel, submerge it in mild detergent and warm water, then wipe it with a clean towel and let it air-dry before I use my machine tonight.”
[wp-svg-icons icon=”signup” wrap=”span”] Be consistent.
Being consistent is one of the best things you can do for your PAP therapy to be effective. Effective results require a dedication to consistency that is the only way to achieve real progress! Think of an exercise program or new healthy lifestyle – you wouldn’t just exercise once a week, would you? It’s the same idea with your PAP therapy.
If you want to get better sleep, you have to keep up the therapy in order to get your body used to these pieces of equipment for the ultimate goal of more quality sleep, so consistency in your therapy is key to accomplishing your longterm goals of better health of yourself and happiness of those around you.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”pushpin” wrap=”span”] Mild detergent only.
When you clean your equipment, using harsh soaps will deteriorate your gear at a much more rapid rate than necessary!
Only use mild detergents as recommended by the manufacturer and your gear will last as long as you are gently cleaning and taking care of it on a regular basis. If you are not sure if your detergent is mild enough, definitely do not hesitate to give your equipment manufacturer a call or even contact our respiratory therapists to ask for suggestions or advice.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”spinner-5″ wrap=”span”] Always air dry.
Setting your equipment in the sun is not a wise choice for longterm equipment usage.
The sunlight is usually to harsh for direct exposure with any of your PAP therapy equipment, so be sure to keep your equipment out of the sun when it needs to air dry and check on it periodically if there are windows in the room that might cast sunlight directly onto the drying equipment. While air-drying, be sure to also hang your tubing to ensure that all the excess water drains out.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”wink” wrap=”i”] No excuses.
No excuses for skipping out on your PAP therapy! Your CPAP wants you to use it, clean it, and get better sleep with it – is that such a tall order? Not at all. With your loved ones around you and Breathe Medical behind you, we know you can give the consistency and dedication for successful sleep apnea treatment.
Don’t hesitate to contact Breathe Medical at [highlight dark=”no”](866) 535-2727[/highlight] or [highlight dark=”no”]email@example.com[/highlight] if you have any additional questions about cleaning your equipment! We are here to help you.
The AirSense 10 CPAP Machine.
Not sure which machine to start with in your new sleep apnea treatment?
ResMed’s AirSense 10 CPAP is a solid introductory machine that shares the stability of all the AirSense line through advanced data integration allowing for 24/7 data tracking and patient monitoring. This data collection software is called myAir software allows everyone involved in the treatment (whether it’s the patient or the respiratory therapist) to be able to pinpoint any abnormalities during sleep. Besides the [highlight dark=”no”]software capabilities[/highlight] of the AirSense 10, the machine itself has been designed to be [highlight dark=”no”]easy-to-use[/highlight] and as [highlight dark=”no”]unobtrusive[/highlight] as possible.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”spinner-5″ wrap=”span”] No need to worry about dry air invading your system – the AirSense 10 is equipped with a humidifier integrated into the system for more streamlined temperature and humidity settings (including automatic climate control).
[wp-svg-icons icon=”laptop” wrap=”span”] Don’t worry about straining your neck to see the machine at night either – there is an angled LCD screen for easy bedside viewing and the machine’s ambient light sensor employs a backlight that won’t disturb you or your bed partner.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”volume-decrease” wrap=”span”] Will the machine’s noises cause you to stay up? Not at all. There is a Quiet Easy-Breathe(TM) motor in the AirSense 10 that allows for a peaceful sleeping environment. With Easy-Breathe devices being up to 90% quieter than any other PAP flow generators on the market, rest assured that your AirSense 10 CPAP machine will not be a disruption in the slightest.
To summarize, the key functions of the AirSense 10 CPAP are as follows: [tooltip title=”Initial low air pressure delivery leading into slumber and gradually increasing pressure to the prescribed level for each patient.”]AutoRamp with Sleep Onset Detection*[/tooltip], Climate Control with the option for Enhance Climate Control Auto, [tooltip title=”Decreases patient’s pressure during exhalation on breath-by-breath basis to promote comfort, therapy compliance and smoother breathing during treatment.”]Expiratory Pressure Relief*[/tooltip], [tooltip title=”Automatic device power-on by breathing into a mask and automatic shut-off when removing mask”]Smart Start*[/tooltip], and the built-in wireless connectivity with myAir.
*Hover over for further details on these features.
Don’t hesitate to contact Breathe Medical at [highlight dark=”no”](866) 535-2727[/highlight] or [highlight dark=”no”]firstname.lastname@example.org[/highlight] if you think this machine might be for you or if you have any questions at all! We are here to help you.
For those patients living with breathing disorders where the brain cannot fully regulate breathing patterns anymore – such as central sleep apnea – a regular CPAP machine just cannot handle the necessary breathing regiment. An ASV (adaptive servo-ventilation machine) is required to assist these patients in breathing for both inhalation and exhalation cycles.
There is More that Meets the Eye.
An ASV machine can look nearly identical to a CPAP or BiPAP. See the examples below:
This is ResMed’s AirCurve 10 ASV.
This is ResMed’s AirSense 10 CPAP.
This is ResMed’s AirCurve 10S BiPAP.
So how can you distinguish which one’s which?
The features within the machine are the significant factors to pay close attention to.
An ASV machine allows patients with central breathing disorders ([tooltip title=”abnormal breathing that can gradually get deeper or quicker to result in an apnea event”]Cheyne-Stokes respiration[/tooltip], [tooltip title=”your brain doesn’t send the right signals to tell the body to breathe regularly”]central sleep apnea[/tooltip], and associated obstructive events or mixed sleep apnea) a chance to have a machine to stabilize breathing with auto-adjusting pressure support and auto-adjusting expiratory positive airway pressure. For ResMed’s AirCurve 10 ASV, this ASV actually targets a patient’s recent minute ventilations in order to provide the most comfortable range of breathing cycle pressures for each patient.
Basically, all ASV machines are the supporting backbone to respiratory wellness for patients who cannot breathe flawlessly of their own accord. By allowing air to keep flowing into a patient’s airway through tested algorithms that match and adapt to each patient’s breathing patterns, an ASV machine can help keep you breathing regularly. It knows what a regular breathing pattern for each patient looks like, so if a patient happens to be breathing a little too infrequently or too shallow, the ASV can help make the breathing pattern regular again.
See the features of the ResMed AirCurve 10 ASV here to get official names for all the complex features of the ASV machine pictured above.
The main concern for those wondering if they should have an ASV machine or not should be:
Can they still breathe regularly during sleep or not? If their brain isn’t sending signals to keep breathing normally and they tend to stop breathing during the night, it might be necessary to get checked again through a sleep study to see if the patient needs an ASV machine. CPAP and BiPAP machines will not help someone with a central or mixed sleep apnea – only ASV machines can effectively help.
[wp-svg-icons icon=”notification” wrap=”span”] Check with your personal physician first to see if the adaptive servo-ventilation option is right for you and if there would be any negative consequences to trying it out.
Don’t hesitate to contact Breathe Medical at [highlight dark=”no”](866) 535-2727[/highlight] or [highlight dark=”no”]email@example.com[/highlight] if you think you might need an ASV machine! We are here to help you.