[Note: parts of this thread were copied over from our old forum (thread started in June, 2007); some posts have not been included for the sake of brevity, and some posts have been cleaned up for clarity, accuracy & updated info]
Go ahead and adjust the pressure on your own CPAP machine
There is a lot of talk about how it's "illegal" to adjust one's own CPAP machine pressure, that only a licensed, certified or qualified technician, physician or clinician can do it.
First of all, I challenge anyone to show me any local, state or federal law that makes adjusting your own legally-obtained CPAP machine a crime, or even threatens punitive action for doing so. Go ahead - I double-dog dare 'ya.
B) If you can show me such a law, I'll give you a one-year free membership on Apnea Board.
Oh, wait... that's already free. Moving right along...
Yes, you must first have a prescription to obtain a CPAP machine - but after you OWN one, you are within your rights to do whatever you darn well please with it, including using it as a leaf blower, running it over with the family car, or... (oh no!) - changing your own pressure settings. :o
Below is some excellent info someone emailed to me regarding setting pressures on common CPAP machines.
Remember the last time you went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription? You walked up to the counter, handed over the script, waited a few minutes and received a full bottle or package of something - pills, liquids, whatever. "Take the prescribed dose once per day for ten days, with food", the pharmacist said.
Fast forward to right now. You've just bought a CPAP machine - or maybe you've been using a CPAP machine for years - and you've discovered that you don't know how to adjust the pressure setting. The primary function of the CPAP machine is to blow air at a certain pressure, and you don't even know how to change the pressure? That's like not knowing how to change the ringer volume on your cell phone, isn't it? Isn't that a vital function that all CPAP users should be familiar with? To you - and to most other CPAP users - the CPAP machine is a mysterious "black box". Something only someone else knows how to program. You just turn the thing on, put on your CPAP mask and hope your CPAP therapy works as advertised.
So why is that you don't know how to adjust the pressure setting on your CPAP machine? It's a 30-second procedure that takes only a few pushes of a couple of buttons. The problem is that the manufacturer of your CPAP machine has hidden some controls from you. In fact they've hidden an entire menu of controls found in what is commonly referred to as the "clinician's setup" or "provider setup" mode.
Before I begin spilling the beans about the clinician's setup, consider that trip to the pharmacy one more time. When you think about it, there's an awful lot of trust between you and your doctor, the doctor and the pharmacist, and the pharmacist and you. You've been told what to do, and they're assuming you're going to do it - correctly. You're also assuming your doctor wrote the right prescription and the pharmacist filled it as written.
Taking this trust issue a step further, consider the fact that when you get a prescription filled at the pharmacy, you don't have to go get one pill at a time. You're trusted with the whole bottle of pills and everyone involved is assuming that you're responsible enough not to do anything stupid with those pills.
So given the secret of the clinician's setup mode would you suddenly become irresponsible? Untrustworthy and reckless? Bent on self destruction by way of CPAP machine? It could happen. But I don't think it will.
I firmly believe you are your own best primary care provider - that nobody else is looking out for your health and well being as much as you are. I therefore think you should be trusted with the knowledge of how to adjust the pressure setting on your CPAP machine. Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating changing the pressure setting on your CPAP machine willy nilly, without regard for your own well being, and I'm certainly not providing you with medical advice (primarily because I don't know you and I'm not a doctor). I think all responsible CPAP users should use common sense when using their CPAP machines, and I think it's a very good idea to talk with your physician or sleep therapist before making any changes to your CPAP therapy. Pressures should be changed slowly, in small increments, over a long period of time. Be sure to note any changes in how you feel. Sleep apnea is a very serious condition, and altering your prescribed therapy settings could reduce the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy.
Whether you have a constant pressure "regular" CPAP machine, an automatic CPAP machine or a bilevel CPAP machine, getting into the clinician's setup mode is fairly simple. I'll outine the process for the three popular model lines of CPAP machines.
Respironics REMstar M Series
To get into the clinician's setup mode in a REMstar M Series CPAP machine or a BiPAP M Series CPAP machine follow these steps:
1. unplug the power cord from the back of the CPAP machine
2. lift the LCD cover and press the two buttons closest to the back of the CPAP machine
3. while pressing the two buttons, plug the power cord into the CPAP machine
You'll hear two beeps and then you'll see the word setup in the lower right corner of the LCD screen. When you select setup you'll be in the clinician's mode where you can adjust every feature of the CPAP machine, including the pressure setting. Below is the list of settings you can cycle through on a REMstar Plus M Series:
* CPAP Pressure (only in provider setup mode)
* Fine Pressure Adjustment (only in provider setup mode)
* C-Flex Setting
* Ramp Time
* Ramp Start Pressure
* Mask Alert
* Auto Off
* Patient Reminder (only in provider setup mode)
Puritan Bennett GoodKnight 420 Series
To get into the clinician's setup mode in a 420 series CPAP machine follow these steps:
1. make sure the CPAP machine is plugged in
2. find the secret button beneath the two "o"s in the word GoodKnight which appears just above the LCD screen
3. press the secret button and the Information Access button simultaneously for 2 or 3 seconds.
The CPAP machine will now be in the provider setup mode. Press the Information Access button to cycle through the list of adjustable settings, and use the arrow buttons to make adjustments. Below is a list of settings you can cycle through on a Puritan Bennett 420G:
* CPAP Pressure (only in provider setup mode)
* Ramp Time
* Ramp Start Pressure
* Hour Meter Value (which cannot be adjusted)
* Compliance Meter Value (which can only be reset to 0)
* Offset of Pressure Sensor (used for calibration purposes) (only in provider setup mode)
* Machine ID Number (which cannot be adjusted)
ResMed S8 Series
To get into the provider setup mode in a ResMed S8 CPAP machine - such as the S8 Compact, S8 Elite or S8 AutoSet Vantage - follow these steps:
1. press the right and down arrows simultaneously for about 3 seconds until the word "clinical" appears
2. select Menu
Use the left and right arrows to cycle through the settings and use the up and down arrows to make adjustments. Below is a list of settings you can cycle through on an S8 AutoSet Vantage automatic CPAP machine. There are four groups of settings which have adjustments and data within them.
o CPAP Mode
o Minimum CPAP Pressure
o Maximum CPAP Pressure
o Maximum Settling / Ramp
o Mask Type
o Tube Length
o Smart Start
o Leak Alert
o Efficacy Data
o Usage Data
o Smart Data
o Factory Defaults
o Erase Data
o Menu Type
o Run Hours
o Serial Number
o PCV Number
o SW Number
o BR Number
I have uploaded PDF files for the setup of some more common CPAP machines. Here is a link to our web page - the PDF files of the CPAP manuals are near the bottom... USE AT YOUR OWN RISK:
There you have it. Take control of your Sleep Apnea, and be safe.
DISCLAIMER & LEGAL NOTICE: BY USING THESE CPAP SETUP DIRECTIONS AND SETUP GUIDES, YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE PERSONALLY ASSUMING ALL RISK FOR USING INFORMATION ON THIS WEB PAGE AND IN THESE DOCUMENTS AND WILL NOT HOLD APNEA BOARD, ITS MEMBERS, OWNERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND MODERATORS LIABLE FOR ANY PROBLEMS, DAMAGES, PHYSICAL HARM, (INCLUDING DEATH), MENTAL HARM OR ANY OTHER HARM THAT MAY COME TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS OR ANY OTHER PERSONS WHO MAY RECEIVE THIS INFORMATION FROM YOU. YOU MAY NOT USE, COPY OR DOWNLOAD THESE DOCUMENTS UNLESS YOU HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO DO SO UNDER ALL APPLICABLE U.S. LAWS. INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS WEB PAGE, APNEA BOARD FORUMS AND ON THE APNEABOARD.COM WEB SITE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR ANY MEDICAL CONDITION, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN BEFORE CHANGING PRESSURE ON ANY MEDICAL DEVICE, INCLUDING CPAP MACHINES.