The following is a message from the US Food and Drug Administration. With the rising number of elderly populations and those with chronic health issues,the home health care field has expanded significantly within the United States. Patients now are becoming more and more dependent on medical technology to maintain or improve their quality of life, so they can live as independently as possible, but they may have difficulties handling and maintaining their devices as well as understanding the instructions on how to use them. These factors along with using devices in different settings, at home, at work, traveling out in the yard etc – can jeopardize patient safety. So here are some helpful tips for anyone using ac pap or caring for someone who does.
The CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure device is a widely used device that can often be problematic to operate, clean and maintain. It’s used for people who have breathing problems typically at night, which is commonly known as obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses and keeps you from breathing normally.
How your face mask fits can affect the quality of your treatment. If the mask is too tight, you may get sores around your mouth and nose. If the mask fits loosely, air can leak out causing your sleep to be disrupted. If you have problems with a mask that’s either too tight or too loose, try adjusting the strap that fits around your head.
If you’re anxious about wearing a mask for treatment, contact your health care providers, they may recommend additional supervised training or adjustment in the size or model of your device. So never secure the straps of the face mask too tightly on your face, and never use tape to seal the mask to your face. Keep your mask clean. It’ll fit much better if it is. Be sure to clean the humidification chamber, too, since bacteria could grow inside of it, and hang your hose up between uses all the condensed water vapor drains out, and the hose can properly dry. Using detergents that contain conditioners or moisturizers to clean your face mask may cause residue buildup. So follow your manufacturers recommendations in the labeling or package insert about the daily care and storage of your device.
The cpap filters also need to be cleaned. Washable foam filters need to be cleaned as soon as you can see any discoloration. The filters may need to be cleaned or replaced frequently even on a weekly basis. If you have a lot of pet hair, dust, smoke or humidity in your home. So follow your manufacturers recommendations for how to replace any disposable filters. And children should never play with your c pap. They could misuse it, change the settings, or get the device dirty, all of which could cause a potential hazard to the device or to themselves. It’s important to explain to any child that this device is not a toy.
Now, the cpap is prescribed to deliver a certain amount of airflow into your body. This is called the pressure. Never attempt to change the pressure that your c pap delivers. The pressure is prescribed by your health care provider, and is directly related to your care. If you feel that the pressure is too little or too much, contact your health care provider to discuss any changes in the prescribed pressure, having some discomfort and contact your health care provider as soon as possible if your breathing problems continue or worsen, but do not stop using your c path until you talk with your health care provider. Knowing how to operate and maintain your c pap is essential.
So always keep the following Information available. The correct name of your device, the name of the manufacturer of your device, contact Information for your health care provider or distributor of the device and support systems in place for emergencies like loss of power, battery, failure or malfunctions.
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