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CO2 danger in power outage
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Veilsd Offline

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Post: #1
CO2 danger in power outage
Hi guys, I'm pretty new to the CPAP world and after having a 27 hour power outage a couple of weeks ago it got me thinking what are the real dangers if the power went out at say 1am and you remained asleep, breathing and re-breathing your exhaled air for 6 or 7 hours? Obviously if it were to lead to deaths you would hear about it in the news so I assume it hasn't happened.

I am in the position that I can easily make my own battery backup and I will probably do it down the track in any case.

I'm sorry if this has been covered before, my search did not find it if it has.
03-20-2015 06:16 AM
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OMyMyOHellYes Offline

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Post: #2
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
Have somebody flip the breaker or unplug your machine while you are asleep. See if you wake up.

I use a nasal mask and I wold in no case worry about the event of a power loss. I wake up right away.

And if it were not for that, the nasal mask is just a little cup over my nose and I wouldn't worry about CO2 buildup or not getting enough O2 getting pulled back in in through the exhaust ports. It would be roughly the same as my nose being an inch longer. Or your mouth would open. Full face masks have specific features to allow fresh air in since your mouth would flop open. I don't know about those nasal manifolds, though (who came up with the idea to call them "pillows"?)

These are foreseeable events and the product designers have to include failsafe features in their products. The devices are pretty thoroughly tested against these kind of events before they are approved.

OMM
(This post was last modified: 03-20-2015 07:07 AM by OMyMyOHellYes.)
03-20-2015 07:06 AM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #3
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
I guess it would depend if you are a light sleeper or a person who sleeps "like the dead".
Now I am a light sleeper, and haven't experienced a power outage yet during CPAP use, but I'm pretty sure I would wake up.
Last summer, we were experiencing power outages, and I woke up every time. Usually, I have a fan running and was aware of the fact there was no noise, and that my alarm clock was blinking.
OpalRose
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03-20-2015 07:21 AM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #4
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
With a nasal mask, in theory, you'll open your mouth and breathe through it if the power goes off. Full face masks have an anti-asphyxia valve that will open up and let you breathe room air if the CPAP pressure goes away.

However, you'll be suffering from your original untreated apnea condition, so backup power is a good idea. It's a good idea to watch craigslist or other sales to see if you can find a spare machine cheaply.

Also, get spare hoses, water tanks, and masks. Get replacement parts as soon as your insurance will pay and keep the old ones on hand in case you break something.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
03-20-2015 07:24 AM
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Kladeios Offline

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Post: #5
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
(03-20-2015 07:24 AM)archangle Wrote:  With a nasal mask, in theory, you'll open your mouth and breathe through it if the power goes off. Full face masks have an anti-asphyxia valve that will open up and let you breathe room air if the CPAP pressure goes away.

However, you'll be suffering from your original untreated apnea condition, so backup power is a good idea. It's a good idea to watch craigslist or other sales to see if you can find a spare machine cheaply.

Also, get spare hoses, water tanks, and masks. Get replacement parts as soon as your insurance will pay and keep the old ones on hand in case you break something.

I was looking at universal power supplies but thought that spending $100 for an extra 11 mins of CPAP when/if the power goes out just didn't seem like a wise way to spend my money. I may be wrong though. The other advice is definitely worth noting since it's pretty easy to break something.
03-20-2015 09:12 AM
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Nyre Offline

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Post: #6
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
Welcome to the board. Lots of great advice is given based on others experiences. I would definitely look into battery backup for your machine. At least you can get one nights sleep while the power is out.
03-20-2015 09:43 AM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #7
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
(03-20-2015 06:16 AM)Veilsd Wrote:  Hi guys, I'm pretty new to the CPAP world and after having a 27 hour power outage a couple of weeks ago it got me thinking what are the real dangers if the power went out at say 1am and you remained asleep, breathing and re-breathing your exhaled air for 6 or 7 hours?

You wear a nasal mask, so your mouth is open to the atmosphere. That's your safety mechanism in case the machine stops or you vomit.

There's another problem called mouth-leaking. When asleep your mouth falls open and you lose the pressurized CPAP air. The solution is a chin strap or a change to a full face mask. Some people will tape their mouth closed, that's when the dangers mentioned of a stopped machine become a reality.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
03-20-2015 09:48 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #8
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
I have an O2 concentrator with a power loss alarm. I had no idea it had an alarm until I tried to remotely switch it (leaving the machines switch on -- and controlling the power at the plug.) That alarm is piercing. I'd wake up.

They make power failure alarms for about USD $15. Might be good to have one.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
(This post was last modified: 03-20-2015 10:02 AM by justMongo.)
03-20-2015 10:00 AM
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GeoffD Offline

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Post: #9
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
(03-20-2015 09:12 AM)Kladeios Wrote:  I was looking at universal power supplies but thought that spending $100 for an extra 11 mins of CPAP when/if the power goes out just didn't seem like a wise way to spend my money. I may be wrong though. The other advice is definitely worth noting since it's pretty easy to break something.

There are plenty of threads here about setting up backup power.

I finally stopped procrastinating after the power went out earlier this week and ordered the components:

A 35 amp-hour ML35-12 Mighty Max AGM wheelchair/scooter battery. $63.99
A ResMed 12v to 24v DC-DC converter. $84.95
A 021-0123 battery tender Junior to keep the battery topped up. $27.69

I decided to use my spare ResMed S9 AutoSet as my battery backed APAP machine. I already had an unheated SlimLine hose for it. It draws a bit less power than my A10. My A10 requires a different DC-DC converter for the same cost.

Without the humidifier or ClimateLine hose, I should be able to go 4 or 5 days on that battery. With the humidifier and heated hose, it should give me 5 or 6 hours.
03-20-2015 10:41 AM
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truetopath Offline

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Post: #10
RE: CO2 danger in power outage
I have a battery back up for my cpap in case of an extended outage. I use a nasal mask so I'm not to concerned about CO2 overload.
03-20-2015 11:56 AM
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