17 must know facts for CPAP SAFETY



The informational list below lists CPAP only however it is also applicable to BIPAP machines.

  1. It is best when your sleep study is interpreted if CPAP is prescribed) to request an order written for the Respiratory Therapist to adjust the pressure (CPAP =continuous positive airway pressure) when you are fitted with the mask.

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  1. Have the area where you plan to use the unit available next to your bed so the Home Care person set up the CPAP Machine and supplies where you plan to use them.
  2. Plug the CPAP unit into an outlet that is not supplying electricity to any other appliances.  If you need to use the same outlet as the other appliances make sure they are not used at the same time.
  3. Never use your CPAP machine with an extension cord. 
  4. Never plug the unit in if it has any water on it since this increase the chance for electrical shock.
  5. Never place your CPAP machine near a window or a heater.
  6. While the Respiratory Therapist is there be sure the CPAP mask has a good fit and is right for you and learn to adjust the CPAP MASK. 
  7. The CPAP Machine needs to be setup correctly so make sure you have a good understanding of the settings.
  8. Many CPAP machines have humidifiers that help you from becoming dried out in the use of the dry oxygen.  Be sure and ask about this feature as you will need a doctor’s prescription.
  9. Make sure you use your CPAP and know it may take time to get used to it.
  10. Some patients rent to own their CPAP machine and many home care companies provide this service such as with Apria medical supplies. 
  11. During the rental time you will defer maintenance costs.
  12. Renting is the best time to determine if the CPAP machine you are using is the best one for you.
  13. It is important to keep your CPAP machine and CPAP supplies clean.  Your home care/ Respiratory Therapist can teach you how to clean them.  We will also cover some of that on this website.
  14. Know what your insurance will and will not cover concerning your CPAP supplies.
  15. Never try and repair your CPAP machine yourself.  The CPAP machine is medical equipment and requires a medical repair professional.   The CPAP machine will most likely be replaced.
  16. Keep your physician, emergency contacts, and CPAP machine settings near the machine.
  17. CAUTION:  The US federal law restricts CPAP and BIPAP machines to sale by or on the order of a physician.  And the CPAP MACHINES and BIPAP MACHINES are to be used only on the instruction of a licensed physician. 


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*Featured image sourced One Way Stock via Flicker


Rebecca Beggs is a Former Registered Respiratory Home Care Practitioner now living in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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