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The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
#1
The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
Many of us are very anxious and put off over "Foamgate" (myself included).  While in theory/I believe according to Phillips most of the VOCs in the foam offgas in the first few days of use of a Dreamstation (and I suppose other affected models too) and from what I have seen few have had foam degradation unless ozone was used in the machine, getting the foam out of these machines will help many of us sleep better at night (I am not suggesting to anyone removing the foam is a good idea or encouraging you do it - this post is only designed to help you decide if removing the foam is a good or bad decision for you and help you find resources on how to remove the foam and how to plug up any remaining holes so that you have the greatest chance of success in getting by until Phillips gets around to developing, releasing/having the "fix" approved).

That being said, if the foam removal is done incorrectly you may not be sleeping as well at night as you should be (as it sounds like if you do not seal up holes you create during foam removal it may compromise the ability of the Dreamstation to work as designed at some level).  Also I am pretty sure there are no Phillips engineers on this group that were involved in the design of the Dreamstation so really nobody in here likely knows exactly what removing the foam can do to the functionality of your Dreamstation.  However, I really don't feel like going without my Dreamstation therapy for several months to a year or more so foam removal seemed like a worthwhile risk to me and my machine (and possibly its warranty though I like to think if the fix ends up being a new chamber without foam or different foam, Phillips will replace everyone's regardless if they opened up their Dreamstation and previously removed the foam or not and if something breaks in the affected units they will warranty them unless the knucklehead that opened their up their CPAP broke/damaged something in the process).

I am not going to get into the nitty gritty in this opening post but I will periodically updated it with important information if it is not on the first page or two so that it isn't hard to find (like the stuff that is deep in the 88 page Dreamstation Recall thread).  Darn it, now that I think about it I don't think you can edit posts in this forum after a few minutes...... oh well.

Anyway, I have seen several approaches to get the foam out of the Dreamstation units.  Some are more straight forward that others but most involve using a Dremmel tool, utility knife, or a drill to make sufficient openings in the plastic "box" that contains the foam so that the foam can be removed (I have even seen someone use a coat hanger and a lot of time/patience to avoid making any holes in the "box" that contains the foam).  The first few videos that came out had folks accessing the foam from the top but it was quickly realized this was problematic as they holes would need to be sealed up (and there is no point in removing foam that may release carcinogens/fly into your lungs only to replace it with tape or glue that may do the same thing!).  Others found that by accessing the foam from the inside of the "box" was better as when you put the unit back together it is sealed and would contain the pressure (there is a nice gasket between the "box" and the lid).  That being said, there is a reason that there are no holes in plastic "box"/air chamber to begin with and cutting holes likely adversely affects readings from at least one sensor in the Dreamstation which may negatively impact therapy (I will say after 1 night of not plugging the holes in my unit my AHI was normal and it seemed to "work" well enough (for sure better than not using it!!!) but I did not dig into various parameters with Oscar to analyze the before and after readings and I not qualified to speak on this matter).  

Lucky for us we have a resident genius who not only has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering but also has a masters degree in aerospace engineering, where complex air and fluid flow is the majority of study.  It goes without saying he has a very favorable opinion of his knowledgebase (I am not qualified to attest to the validity of any claims made) and has posted what appears to be some really useful and well thought out information including this very good post which shows in detail where the foam is located and where the various sensors are located/what they are believed to do:

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...#pid402115

I found this Youtube video very useful in helping get the Dreamstation apart and putting it back together (it only took about 30 or 40 min for me to do everything and I am not the most mechanically inclined person ever but if watching the videos make you feel like you are in over you heard you may be better off not attempting the foam removal process):

https://youtu.be/gu-P4pD2hEQ

And there are several other good videos too like:

https://youtu.be/ytLGqYbIDVE

https://youtu.be/6SwGXBen4OU  (this one glosses over some important steps a bit more than I liked but is nice and short to get an idea as to what is involved)

Any ideas on plugging the holes (I have three 1/2 inch holes in mine that I need to plug)?  I have heard a lot of folks like to use hot glue as it should be fairly inert/safe.

Here are some pics from the aforementioned post that was put together by our resident genius:

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...#pid402115
[Image: HjPKztb.png]

Lastly, I apologize in advance if this post is riddled with typos as I wrote it while giving my daughter a bath and I ran out of time.... and will not be able to go back and edit it!  Hopefully this post is/becomes useful and helps users of Phillips products that have "death foam" as so far Phillips has been really tight lipped, has not made an effort to reach out to affected customers, as far as I am aware hasn't even confirmed registration of affected units, has not release a plan to replace/repair units, or really done nothing to help.  Thanks
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#2
RE: The Dreamstation Foam Removal Thread
First I do not endorse the de-foaming of a machine. This is a personal opinion and choice.  I do recognize that others have a desire to do defoam their personal machine and for that purpose, I suggested this thread be started. It was not my idea originally.

Some things to consider

  1. you have the right to do anything to your machine that you wish to do, including defoaming your machine.
  2. Is it your machine? or is it owned by the DME or another organization?  Are you renting it?
  3. Defoaming may void your warranty.
  4. Defoaming may void your ability to get the unit replaced/repaired under the Recall.
  5. In the US it is illegal to transfer (trade, sale, gift) a Class II medical device to anyone unless it's being done by a licensed DME and issued to a patient who provides that DME with a valid prescription for the device.
  6. It is also illegal to modify a class 2 medical device. This is intended to prevent anyone from being treated with a machine with modifications that haven't been approved.

I'll leave the technical challenges for others.

I am not saying don't do it, but to consider other things that you may or may not have thought about.
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#3
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
I am glad brianc18t started this foam removing thread.

Your opening statement is great.

I am a little hurt you did not include my being the first to suggest cutting into the chamber and showed how I removed the foam and how I made the point to RESEAL the flaps I made, oh well such is fleeting fame.

OK here is important information: ON 05-23-2021, 07:15 AM:

RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
UPDATE: The Notice of Potential Product Defect has been updated to a Recall. A copy of the Recall notice can be found at this link: Philips Respironics Dreamstation Recall:

For more information you should read as much as you can here:

http://www.apneaboard.com/.../Thread-NOT...ALL-THREAD...

There is not much we can do:

There seems to be only four chorces:

1) Replace your machine with a different brand.
2) Use your defective machine as is.
3) Stop using any CPAP Machine
4) Remove the foam as a do-it-yourself project.

# 1 Replacing your Phillips machine with another brand is having problems, many models of other machines are being sold out and supplies are slow or back-ordered.

Sadly there is some price gouging.

Even used and refurbished systems are up in price.

#2 is a worst-case.

#3 is a hard choice, here you really should talk with your Doctor about how bad your Apneas are, I believe if they are mild you might be OK off the CPAP for some time. This is between you and your Doctor to decide.

#4 The only last way to lower your risks is a Do It Yourself fix. Remove the foam yourself.

There are a number of videos on utube, BUT they are doing it wrong!!!

Three show how to open and take apart these machines BUT when they get to how to remove the foam these idiots leave HOLES in the air chamber, this is 1000% wrong, the machine gets its reading how your breathing and treating you by presser sensors in this chamber, which cannot read your responses and need unless this chamber is airtight.

SO:

If you going to follow this video there is one MAJOR change you must do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SwGXBen4OU

When you come to the cutting of the opening make ONLY three cuts per hole, then bend back the flap and with needle nose pliers to pull out the foam.

HERE IS the important part you MUST bend back the flaps and then close them with tape, like duct or electrical tape. The Chamber has to be resealed otherwise the machine's sensors will not work making it a worthless malfunctioning machine.

So as there is a tight limit to how many photos one can post here, and even with my having to remove a few (Which I hope does not destroy earlier posts with them gone) I still am running too tight to add more, I started my OWN Face book page on this subject (I will include other health-related subjects) here:

https://www.facebook.com/Coyle-Medical-s...3598461353

I have made the first sticky post the one you read in this beginning with ALL the pictures.

One LAST note I want to add:

IF you find particles of foam in the chamber, or in the fan section, or have been finding it in the humidifier water tank or in your hose and face mask…

I strongly suggest you stop and get a different machine by any means possible. Put this bad machine away and save it for a replacement (ONLY my findings are one the foam goes the rest of the system is gone as well) and or save it for evidence.


Rich
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#4
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
(07-23-2021, 04:16 AM)racprops Wrote: I am a little hurt you did not include my being the first to suggest cutting into the chamber and showed how I removed the foam and how I made the point to RESEAL the flaps I made, oh well such is fleeting fame.


HERE IS the important part you MUST bend back the flaps and then close them with tape, like duct or electrical tape. The Chamber has to be resealed otherwise the machine's sensors will not work making it a worthless malfunctioning machine.

Rich

Rich, excellent addition to this thread.

The first information I saw on removing the foam was on Youtube from CPAP Reviews and The LankyLeft27.  I do no visit this board very often and when I did a few months ago I do not recall seeing anything in detail on foam removal.  I assume we are all adults here and there is no reason to get "hurt" because your name was not recognized.  Dont-know  I think almost anyone that knew they had "death foam" in their CPAP machine..... their mind went directly to how hard is it to get it out of there (that was my thought process - then I went to Youtube assuming others had the same thought process and to see if there was a "how to video" and if it was something I felt comfortable doing).  If you were definitively the first on here to suggest cutting into the chamber and to show how to remove the foam, I would totally extend an offer to give you a virtual pat on the back or a high five for helping the community at large. Thanks

I have some reservations over sealing the flaps with duct tape or electrical tape.  While it seems it may be impossible if the tape comes loose to get into your air hose and into your lungs I cannot say that with enough confidence to bet my or or others lives on it.  Even if tape coming loose and getting into the airway (or somewhere in the machine we do not want it) is not a concern (though it coming loose over time would still be a concern), I would caution using tapes that may release VOCs from either the tape itself of the adhesive as that was one of the two main reasons we wanted the foam out of the units to begin with.  While the amount of VOCs released would likely be very small, perhaps hot glue might be safer (or medical grade tape/another media to block the holes like some plastic covered by hot glue or a non toxic glue in the case of folks like myself that have half inch holes to fill - of course testing it first off the machine to see if a low heat glue gun does not damage the tape/this seems like a viable solution)? 

Either way this is what this thread is for and hopefully through our discussions we come up with the best interim solution possible to fix our machines.
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#5
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
For those of us who don't have the tools or are too clumsy to do this work, using an anti bacterial filter on the line has been recommended for filtering possible foam particles. These filters are safe.

I'm a bit skeptical about introducing duct tape, glues and other untested materials into a machine.
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#6
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
[quote pid='405296' dateline='1627054090']
I'm a bit skeptical about introducing duct tape, glues and other untested materials into a machine.
[/quote]

I am with you, the more I think about it hot glue or some other non toxic glue and or plastic to cover any holes made sounds like the way to go.  I think I will cut a few small pieces of plastic out of a food container or something and hot glue it over the three half inch holes I made.
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#7
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
Thanks for the high five.

I posted my Drastic Action of removing the foam on page 3 Post # 29.

I humbly suggest anyone interested in all of this just pop over to Page 3 and read forward.

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...ERS?page=3

About the use of duct tape I am finding that as far as I can find almost all the back and forth posts seemed to have been removed because of repeating of the subject…too bad I believe these posts were important.

AND how short memory is as YOU yourself questioned my use of Duct Tape in your own post on page 5 # 50.

I have been consulting with a friend who worked a number of years ago with Hanson Robotics in their efforts to create a real looking human Robot.

This involved a lot of research into flexible plastics and material including a LOT of foam.

First thing he said and I too have seen these results: ALL FOAM will deteriorate over time, (as all manmade plastics) the question is only when.

We talked about how I can seal the chamber after my cuts.

I tried Epoxies; they did not bite the plastic used in the making of the chamber, in laymen’s words they did not stick.

We discussed permanent materials, he pointed out that fiberglass is considered Archival as in considered permanent, but the stink and cure time is slow and felt this was not a good idea.

We considered Super Glue, super glue was once modified to be used to seal wounds but that is special. None the less it seems to be considered nontoxic to humans.

Normal super glue is very thin. We as model makers often use Thick super glue but they are mainly offered in Hobby Stores.

This stuff dry’s into a glass like material that once cured is a hard non out gassing material which seems great, there is again a strong smell and outgassing as it cures, so I can use it and wait a day or two and as I have a work shop flush it will air from a compressor until it no longer smells. As It bond is able to bite/stick to this plastic and as long as it is not flexed it is a permanent fix, a solid material.

There is one down side: Super Glue can be shattered, like glass. I use this fact to hold two things together for sanding or machining and then drop it to the floor and break the parts apart.

So I would use the super glue and then cover with duct tape to insure a total permanent seal.

So after all that I ended up with suggesting duct tape for everyone.

Now to that concern, first I used a THIN cutting wheel so the opening from these cuts ended being about I/32 of an inch wide. That were/are approximated at 1 inch by 1.5 (1 and ½ Inch) three sided cut square.

I also think my final placement of my two cuts were the best place for them one in front near the foam that wraps around one port for a board sensor and the other where it is got the most clearance and flat area for the tape to stick too. I also figured out the little side thingies were a manufacture thing and have NO used in the unit so suggest cutting the off to allow better taping.

NOW as to the Duct Tape: It is used all over, and got the name as Duct Tape as it is used often on Ducts, (and yes I know it started life in the army and was called DUCK Tape as it was used to seal tents.)

Also in the movie and TV show production it is often called Gaffer Tape.

None the less, it is water and air Tight. So air will not pass though it from outside into the air chamber.

And this means there is VERY little exposure to the sticky part of the tape exposed to the air of the chamber, and there is no noticeable out gassing I can detect and I can detect milk four days before it goes bad. My wife calls me the Super Sniffer.

Plus in a short time this little exposed tape will dry out and become mostly inert.

And YES over time the rest of the Duct Tape will its self, dry out. USED outdoors this can happen in months to years in even dry hot AZ.

I have used it indoors and had it hold for years, decades even.

So with all I and most anyone can get or have available I feel this is the best possible solution to the problem.

One last solution: There is an insane Utube video of a fellow pulling the foam out though the stock holes in the chamber, he admits it took hours and he cut his thumb, but this might be a way to do it.

Here is it, have fun…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-xBt6v_JQQ

Rich
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#8
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
Yeah, my memory isn’t the best sometimes and I tend not to remember random names on here but I have no doubt you are right.

Are you aware of anyone that sanded the plastic to allow the glue (again I was going to try hot glue and a small piece of plastic) to adhere properly?  That is my plan anyway.  As for duct tape I am still not on board.  Just because it is used in ducts (and I have never seen traditional duct tape actually used in ducts - just the thin foil like tape) doesn’t mean it is safe.  There is a difference as any air that would contact it in a duct would be very dilute by the time you inhaled it.  I doubt it is much if any risk but I will use something else for mine.
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#9
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
I use Hot Glue for 40 years in Prop Making. And I have used Gaffer tape (Duct Tape) as well for 50 years.

As I was a certified Junryman card-carrying A/C repairman in 1972 back then we did use duct take in a number of repairs and installs.

Hot Glue is a weak and poor glue. I pluck it off all the time, as it is a very poor bonder.

IF I was to use it I would use it to seal the openings and then back it with my duct tape.

My 2 cents worth.

Rich
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#10
RE: The DreamStation Foam Removal Thread
(07-23-2021, 12:20 PM)racprops Wrote: I use Hot Glue for 40 years in Prop Making. And I have used Gaffer tape (Duct Tape) as well for 50 years.

As I was a certified Junryman card-carrying A/C repairman in 1972 back then we did use duct take in a number of repairs and installs.

Hot Glue is a weak and poor glue. I pluck it off all the time, as it is a very poor bonder.

IF I was to use it I would use it to seal the openings and then back it with my duct tape.

My 2 cents worth.

Rich

Thanks Rich, funny I was starting to consider the same thing though if I feel it isn't bonding well enough I might go with Gorilla Tape as that stuff way better than traditional duct tape! 

After watching this Project Farm video though, I am not sure all hot glues are weak!  I was blown away with how strong some of them were in certain conditions.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu8sJBctzFc I think if the surface is scuffed up the right hot glue should be plenty strong! Normally I use epoxies and JB Weld should bind strongly with proper surface preparation but I am stuck on this hot glue idea for now as they seem really inert (though JB Weld is supposed to be nontoxic once cured but I am still having a hard time with it mentally https://media.lifeandhome.com/media/down...5_MSDS.pdf).
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