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Legionairre's disease as a result of cpap use
#1
Question 
I'm wondering if anybody has looked into the possibilty of contracting "LEGIONNAIRE'S" or any other water borne germ as a result of using a CPAP.(humidifier tank not being frequently or properly cleaned)

The last I heard was that it only existed in cold water "chillers" used in large air conditioning units.

When I sent an e-mail (TWICE) to he CDC in Atlanta about 7 years ago re this issue, I received a reply that didn't answer my question.
Maybe someone else on this board could give it a try.

Randy
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#2
(03-16-2016, 11:55 AM)ran-man Wrote: I'm wondering if anybody has looked into the possibilty of contracting "LEGIONNAIRE'S" or any other water borne germ as a result of using a CPAP.(humidifier tank not being frequently or properly cleaned)
Yes, me.
I had a pneumonia caused by legionella.

Legionella has been found inside of the humidifier, but not in the water of my home.
I have been on business travel 10 days before that., staying at 3 different hotels.
I clean my water tank every day, the hose every week.

I use tapwater at home and botteled water when I am traveling.

Hermann
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#3
The source of the bacteria Legionella is from fresh water since it occurs naturally in water, according to the CDC. It normally doesn't grow to problem levels until the water is warmed to a certain level, such as in the chiller towers of large a/c systems where the water carries the heat of compression to the tower where it is rejected into the atmosphere by the process of evaporation.

Since this water may used for a long period of time without disinfecting it can grow Legionella bacteria to high levels. Proper water treatment measures help prevent that from being a hazard but the best way is to avoid breathing the air that comes from the tower. That's easily done except when you are on a cruise liner or similar circumstance where you can't easily avoid the area where the tower is located and especially where the air is exhausted. Also consider that this air may get sucked back into the a/c system via the fresh air induction that is required on a properly installed system. That spreads the hazard to everyone aboard a ship on those cruise liners.

Since not properly cleaning and disinfecting a CPAP humidifier would seem to provide the same environment/conditions for the bacteria to grow and propagate into the air, it should make all of use concerned about the quality of the water we use and the need for disinfecting the humidifier on a regular schedule. We use water, we heat it and we breathe the air passing over it. Same conditions... airborne bacteria.

<quoting the CDC>
The key to preventing legionellosis is maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella grow, including drinking water systems, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings). There are no vaccines that can prevent legionellosis. </quote>

Dude
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#4
Dude,

Thanx. for the info. That's a better explanation (and easier to understand for a person like me).

Randy
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#5
(03-16-2016, 01:32 PM)surferdude2 Wrote: The source of the bacteria Legionella is from fresh water since it occurs naturally in water, according to the CDC.

Does that mean if i use distilled water i can avoid the bacteria?Thinking-about
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#6
You'll probably be safe from the Legionella bacteria by using distilled water. However, there are plenty of others that you may be incubating if you don't disinfect the reservoir on a regular basis.

Dude
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#7
Would the chlorine in the water from your tap be enough to disinfect or is a stronger measure called for?
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#8
interesting topic, how do you disinfect a cpap without hurting the machine?
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#9
(03-17-2016, 05:45 AM)jpsantell Wrote: interesting topic, how do you disinfect a cpap without hurting the machine?


You don't disinfect the machine, only the water chamber.

Be sure to dump water every morning, and let air dry.

I use distilled water, it's cheap and easily available and clean water chamber once a week with dawn soap, hot water, rinse with vinegar, then rinse again with distilled water and let air dry. This way there is no vinegar smell. Wink
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#10
(03-16-2016, 11:55 AM)ran-man Wrote: I'm wondering if anybody has looked into the possibilty of contracting "LEGIONNAIRE'S" or any other water borne germ as a result of using a CPAP.(humidifier tank not being frequently or properly cleaned)

The last I heard was that it only existed in cold water "chillers" used in large air conditioning units.

When I sent an e-mail (TWICE) to he CDC in Atlanta about 7 years ago re this issue, I received a reply that didn't answer my question.
Maybe someone else on this board could give it a try.

Randy

Good question. I had three bouts of pneumonia after starting on CPAP . It never helped me and I was convinced that the CPAP may have caused one or two of them. Now I am trying it again b/c my apnea is so bad. BUT - I was told only to use distilled water or boiled water. I boil my own water, but we will be traveling in Europe soon, and I'm concerned about not getting the right water. Any thoughts from anyone?
I use boiled water in my CPAP (I thought that I previously got pneumonia from it). I stopped using it for a while but started again b/c of bad apnea.

But I understand we should use either distilled or boiled water. We will be traveling soon, and I don't know if I can get distilled water.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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