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Help with cleaning and infections
#1
Hi, I'm new here. I've been on cpap for 14 months. I was diagnosed with OSA and I think my AHI was 64. Since I've been on this therapy. ( I never miss a night) I've had numerous upper respiratory infections. Just last month I was hospitalized for pneumonia. Five weeks later I have a bronchial infection! I admit at first I didn't know I was supposed to disconnect the hose from the unit after use. I was also just adding to the distiller water vs. dumping it out. I used dial antibacterial liquid soap to clean. Then I heard water and vinegar was best. Since I got out of the hospital, I searched and found a hospital grade disinfectant called Control III. I've been disinfecting weekly, and wash my nasal pads daily. Also, I use new water every night.
I have the bronchial infection even after using the strongest disinfectant I can find! Does anyone else have a lot of infections from cpap use? Also, have others used or have used Controll III in the past?
If so what is your experience with it? If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Thanks so much!Big GrinBig Grin
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#2
Hi Hunty, Welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear of your illnesses.

You will find a variety of opinions on here whether to dump the water from your humidifier or whether to top it off. I top my water off each night and every weekend I dump it and clean my humidifier tub with the rest of my equipment. Also you will find a debate on whether to use distilled water or tap water. Most use distilled water as it is advertised to be better for your machine to eliminate build up of minerals from tap water. I have not heard it is necessary to disconnect the hose from the unit after each use. I have been PAPing since November and I have never disconnected after each use except when I clean the equipment weekly. It is recommended that you use non-bacterial, mild dish detergent to clean your equipment. My DME recommended original Dawn dish detergent (minus any fragrance or anti-bacterial versions). I use a little white vinegar along with Dawn and soak my hoses, mask, and humidifier tub in warm water. Rinse thoroughly and hang up to dry before hooking it back up to my equipment. Also, when cleaning your equipment, you might want to consider buying a separate plastic dish pan that you use 'only for' soaking your equipment in. Don't soak it directly in a sink as the sink could have bacteria that could transfer to your equipment. Also, be sure to replace your filters monthly.

Good luck. I am sure others will chime in with good advice as well.
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#3
It sounds like you're doing everything necessary, even more so, to keep your cpap sanitary. Are you using distilled water? That being true too, I think I'd look around at other sources for the problems you're describing. You haven't mentioned where you're from so I can't weigh in on whether or not I would guess seasonal difficulties. If you were here where I am, that's what I would do. Talk to the Docs and the sleep doc folks.

As far as Controll III, or other heavy duty things are concerned: I'm of the very staunch opinion that there still has been no better disinfectant than good old chlorine. So if you add a SMALL amount of bleach to a bowl of water and soak your stuff for an hour or so, nothings going to be alive. Just be sure to rinse everything well before you start sucking on it again.

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#4
Hi Hunty,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I have used Control III before, it's a good cleaner for CPAP equipment.
Now, I use a bit of Ivory liquid in warm water once a week to clean my parts, because it's convenient to pick up at the store when I buy groceries. But, if you feel you need something a bit stronger, Control III is good.
Best of luck to you and hang tight for more suggestions.
trish6hundred
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#5
I updated your subject line so you can get the help you need.

You say you use distilled water so that narrows it down.

What you don't say is how often you have changed out the parts. Are you still using the same hoses you started with? If so, get new ones. Get new everything from humidifier tank to mask. Change the filter, too. I had a similar issue where I had allergy like symptoms year long. We finally narrowed it down to something in the machine. My DME gave me all new stuff, at no cost (this was back when they were owned by someone who cared) and that fixed it. We believe it was something in the hose. Hoses weren't as see-through as they are now and I'd had the same one for over a year. Even though I regularly washed it, you can't get everything unless you use something like Control III. (and yes, I was using distilled water)

If you have an issue after that (or if you already have done it and it is still happening, especially with the Control III), then it is not CPAP related. Speak to your doctor and insist they look at something other than your CPAP.

As for the bleach, if you choose to use it, we're talking about less than a teaspoon for a normal kitchen sink.
PaulaO2
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#6
(02-25-2014, 11:32 AM)Hunty Wrote: I have the bronchial infection even after using the strongest disinfectant I can find! Does anyone else have a lot of infections from cpap use? Also, have others used or have used Controll III in the past?
If so what is your experience with it? If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Thanks so much!Big GrinBig Grin
disinfection of equipment is recommend for multi-patients use in sleep clinic or hospital, not for a single user at home

regular cleaning with plain soap and hot water is all that needed, water/vinegar solution for cleaning the water tank and changing CPAP filter

ResMed FAQs http://www.resmed.com/us/service_and_sup...nc=dealers

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#7
Do you have reflux and use a PPI like protonix, prevacid etc? These drugs can cause respiratory infections because they do not stop reflux, they just make the reflux less acid so it does not chew up your esophagus. Acid in your stomach kills bacteria. when you turn off the acid , the bacteria can grow in your stomach contents. So during the night you still have non acid reflux material full of bacteria coming up into your lungs as you lay flat on your back. This can cause pneumonia and bronchitis easily.
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#8
I use a long gun cleaning cable and run a swab saturated with thymol disinfectant through the tubing then let everything
air dry.

I havent seen anything growing in the tubing so far. Smile

"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#9
Hey Hunty, I've been doing this for a long time and I am probably the WORST example of what not to do! Smile I hardly ever dump my water, I top it off when it gets low. I do not disconnect my hose after use and clean everything every day. Every night I use disinfectant wipes on the mask, let it dry and put it on. About every couple of weeks I tear everything apart and wash it in hot soapy water, rinse well, then I disinfect using a disinfectant from the local business supplier (their initials are S&FI in case we can't put the name here!) the disinfectant is used in the bar & restaurant industry. I let it soak for about 20-30 minutes, rinse twice and hang up to air dry. I have never "caught" anything from my machine. Contrary to popular belief, you can't get sick from your own germs, so really all you have to worry about is mold or anything growing in the machine. I theory some foreign germ could find my mask, make it's way up the mask, into the hose and down into the water tank where it could multiply, waiting for me to put it back on...but that has never happened. I get my flu shots every year and I got my pneumonia shot. Now I still have colds sometimes, I had a doozey this year that triggered an acute asthma problem, but that was all from picking up germs while taking my grandsons shopping after Christmas and finding a WalMart germ! The asthma is an existing condition that was aggravated by the cold. You may want to talk to your doc about getting a pneumonia shot. I had pneumonia 3 times in my teen years, plus I am diabetic, so even though I am not the age my HMO usually gives them, they corralled me one day and stuck me! This winter has been really bad for the flu and colds so everyone really should consider getting a flu shot, and there is no way it gives you the flu regardless of what people say! Just my thoughts on it.
Good luck,
Mike
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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#10
(02-25-2014, 12:05 PM)ImaSurvivor Wrote: Hi Hunty, Welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear of your illnesses.

You will find a variety of opinions on here whether to dump the water from your humidifier or whether to top it off. I top my water off each night and every weekend I dump it and clean my humidifier tub with the rest of my equipment. Also you will find a debate on whether to use distilled water or tap water. Most use distilled water as it is advertised to be better for your machine to eliminate build up of minerals from tap water. I have not heard it is necessary to disconnect the hose from the unit after each use. I have been PAPing since November and I have never disconnected after each use except when I clean the equipment weekly. It is recommended that you use non-bacterial, mild dish detergent to clean your equipment. My DME recommended original Dawn dish detergent (minus any fragrance or anti-bacterial versions). I use a little white vinegar along with Dawn and soak my hoses, mask, and humidifier tub in warm water. Rinse thoroughly and hang up to dry before hooking it back up to my equipment. Also, when cleaning your equipment, you might want to consider buying a separate plastic dish pan that you use 'only for' soaking your equipment in. Don't soak it directly in a sink as the sink could have bacteria that could transfer to your equipment. Also, be sure to replace your filters monthly.

Good luck. I am sure others will chime in with good advice as well.

Thanks for your response.. That is interesting that you don't disconnect your hose. I was told that this allows for the moisture from use to evaporate otherwise the hose could be growing bacteria or mold. My humidifier warms the water so another reason to dump the distilled water. I do have a separate dish just for cpap washing. I try to replace the filters monthly but sometimes I forget and it might be 2 months b4 I change it. I'm sure I will be more great advice! Thanks again!
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