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I'm new and could use some advice.
Could you get to Hong Kong for a few days?

Several hospitals there have comprehensive sleep disorders centers, including HK Baptist, Matilda, Canossa, and probably others. When I lived there I used HK Adventist. And a good acupuncturist of course Wink
Also there are equipment dealers there as well. Judging by a quick google search, that is.

That's where I'd go if I were in the Philippines. There used to be cheap airfares, and maybe you could even time it so that you could return the next day after a sleep lab overnight.

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Sierra, in my opinion, haul out the two devices you have and request the clinician manuals for them from the link in this site, above. You will need to either clean out the masks and hoses or find new ones. To do that you will have to contact a DME, and likely make an appointment. You will want to change the filters in the machines and run them to clear out the old air and make sure they work (no nesting critters, etc.). Get acquainted with the features for each machine and what it can and cannot do.

There are posts on this site about cleaning equipment, and setting features, etc. As a minimum, put a clean white cloth over the newly cleaned hose end and check there is no dirt, dust, etc. (like we do for scuba diving tanks). Listen to the motors/blowers for good consistent running.

I always think the hardest part of new CPAPing is getting used to the mask. Don't be surprised if you go through several different styles finding what works for you. When you are ready, try the mask on and get used to it. (Helps the family pets get used to it too. Don't recommend this when you have guests!).

If you cannot wait for a proper sleep test, then try the machine out. I don't recommend below 7, due to not enough airflow in the masks. At least you will have some data for can take with you to the sleep doc.
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I have the Auto, and it can be set to find the right pressure for you. most people do not feel they can get adequate breathe when set under 6 cmH2O. So you could set yours to run from 6 to 12 unless you are acclimated to more pressure. Once you use it about a week, you should be able to get a 90% pressure read out for last 7 days. If it is a lot higher than 6 (like over 8), you'll want to adjust it to start higher. If your 90% is close to the upper limit, you may want to increase the upper limit a bit as well.

All that will come in time.

Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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Of the machines you have, the Remstar Auto A-Flex is by far the better choice. I is able to automatically adjust to meet your needed pressure to prevent apneas, and can tell you how many apnea/hypopnea occurred, and at what pressure as well as other information.

As suggested earlier, you need to set the machine up for your use. So order the clinician manual from this site, and set up the pressures at minimum 6.0 in Auto mode with a maximum of 20 and the machine should adjust to what you need.

If you look at the bottom of the blower, you should see a model number next to REF. If it is a 550P, that is a reasonably recent machine and will give you good data. Let us know. Please note that COPD can be a complication in CPAP therapy that requires a bilevel device to make exhalation easier and provide better ventilation. However, even with COPD titration begins with stopping obstructive events, so you should see improvement with CPAP.
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I'd like to apologize for being away and not responding.I got pretty discouraged about an odor in the machine I have.

Sleeprider,I checked my machine and it is a model 550p.I have no idea how old the machine is,other than I bought it used in 2010 while we were in the US for my Fathers funeral.It's been packed away since then...or at least until I got it out to research the model number.

When I opened the carrying case (travel bag?) I noticed a bit of an obnoxious odor especially on the masks that came with the machine.

I plugged in the machine to run it,and noticed that the odor is also in the machine,and I can smell it distinctly when it is running.I don't really know how to describe the odor..maybe a little towards musty?I ran the machine for an hour,but the smell is still present.I don't think I want to spray Lysol in the intake or anything.

Any ideas how to freshen it up?

I bought another 550p off Craigslist and it will be here in about 7 weeks.This one is very low mileage,and the seller promised it was excellent with no detraction's.I guess I will be finding out.Anyway,my plan is to use the older machine as a back up.

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Welcome back SierraMadreMe. My guess is that the odour you describe will be from the "wet" parts of the system - humidifier, hose or mask. The humidifier can detach from the main blower unit so that you can isolate the smell if it's coming from the blower. If you haven't already done so, replace the inlet filter on the back of the machine. If the smell is coming from the blower you may have to dismantle it and see if there's any contamination (eg mould, fungus, oil) in any of the airways.

Otherwise, and more likely, the problem will be in the wet system. Check the humidifier and its tank for any visible contamination. on my Resmed there is a big rubber gasket which fits in the lid of the humidifier - check if your machine has something similar. Make sure the hose is spotless, as well as the mask. On an old machine I might be inclined to replace the humidifier tank, gasket, hose and mask in any event. These are all parts which could harbour nasties.

Once you have the odour sorted, make sure you keep everything clean and dry, so far as possible. I strip everything down and wash it in hot soapy water, then a very hot water rinse and air dry once a week. In your tropical location you may need to do the mask more frequently, or you might like to use a gentle disinfectant in the wash. Just be aware that some of the rubber / silicon parts may not like any sort of chemical treatment.

Hope this helps.
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Thanks for the response DB.

The odor seems to be coming from everything.The masks smell..the headgear smells..the hose smells,even that bag smells.Sad I separated the humidifier from the blower unit and ran it separately.The odor persisted even with the components separated.I will look at possibly taking the thing apart,but it looks daunting.I think they use an allen head screw,but can't be sure (old eyes don't see way down in that hole) Lol

The good thing is that I ordered a new mask and hose along with filters and some odds and ends before discovering that this thing smells.

And yes.The humidity here is a problem.Good thing is that our air conditioner is running at night, and ac also tends to dry the air.
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I have had pretty good luck deodorizing equipment using Ozium spray. You don't actually spray into the unit, just spray a piece of cloth and put it over the filter opening, and run it through the unit. Plastic and silicone parts are much harder to clean, but there are replacement parts available. The silicone seals can be removed from the humidifier dry box and cleaned, or replaced. Supplier #1 sells replacement dry box and inlet seals for the PRS1 humidifier. I would replace the hose and mask if they are contaminated and can't be cleaned. I have actually dropped masks into the laundry and gotten good results if you want to try that.
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I'll have to try the Ozium Sleeprider (and thanks for the idea).They don't sell Ozium here,but I have a small orange scented one in a box around here somewhere.I did put the dpap machine in its bag,along with one of those Lysol wiping cloths.I didn't completely close the bag,but I did close it up some.I ran it for an hour I think it was,and when I removed the cloth,it was dry.The machine still smelled tho,so I will try the Ozium next.
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(04-18-2015, 08:11 PM)SierraMadreMe Wrote: ... I also bought a used machine several years ago for a friend here who I thought was a sufferer,but he elected to return to the US.It is a Philips Remstar Auto A-flex.It is packed away in a box.Both units use data cards.

Hi Sierra,

If auto-titrating yourself, work up easily into wearing the mask. First wear when awake, reading or watching TV or whatever. If you have trouble sleeping with mask on, continue wearing during the day to get used to it.

Important to tighten the mask straps evenly, with left straps sameengths as the right straps, so the mask is not pulled to one side or the other.

It is common that a pressure of 4 or 5 seems too high at first, because we are not at all used to breathing against pressure. However, after a short time you will probably feel more comfortable with a Min Pressure of 6 or higher. Whenever you feel you're not getting enough air, a slight increase in the Min Pressure will probably solve the problem.

I would set the Max Pressure to 10 to start. Can always raise it later, if the machine's data shows it would be helpful. And I would start with A-Flex set to 2.

Take care,
--- Vaughn
Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
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