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Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
#1
Is there a way for a person to sterilize a used CPAP machine so that it would be 100% germ-free? Or is the machine itself free from that? Just throw out the hoses, masks etc??

I have been offered one from a close friend whose mother died recently and originally said no thanks and did not ask more about it. Wondering if I were able to sterilize it or pay a company to do this then perhaps I should be asking more about what machine it is.

Are there companies that do this, and if so, what might the cost be? Can an individual do this themselves? If so, what is involved?

I can't find anything online about this with the exception of amazon selling the SoClean machines, so wondering if it is not recommended to buy a used CPAP machine not knowing the medical history of who used it??
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

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EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#2
Considering that actual sterilization methods would irreversibly damage the internal mechaisms of a CPAP machine (very high heat and humidity plus pressure ((as in an autoclave), caustic gases and caustic chemicals (such as bleach), it is not possible to sterilize a machine without ruining it. Tubing and mask should be replaced, the air filter should be replaced, and the humidifier tank (if present) should be cleaned. I use strong denatured ethyl alcohol (buy it a drugstore; not rubbing alcohol) to clean my tank. Also, as CPAP machines are output only, nothing goes backward from the patient to the machine.
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#3
(11-22-2015, 02:24 PM)Stiffdoc Wrote: Considering that actual sterilization methods would irreversibly damage the internal mechaisms of a CPAP machine (very high heat and humidity plus pressure ((as in an autoclave), caustic gases and caustic chemicals (such as bleach), it is not possible to sterilize a machine without ruining it. Tubing and mask should be replaced, the air filter should be replaced, and the humidifier tank (if present) should be cleaned. I use strong denatured ethyl alcohol (buy it a drugstore; not rubbing alcohol) to clean my tank. Also, as CPAP machines are output only, nothing goes backward from the patient to the machine.

Stiffdoc Just to clarify, you are saying that as long as I wipe down everything and wipe the humidifier tank with this denatured ethyl alcohol and of course only use hoses or masks I have purchased new, there is no risk of a unit passing anything on to a new user from a previous user?

The reason I am sounding a bit paranoid about this is when I go to the DME, the RT puts what I would call a non-rebreather adapter in between the hose and the mask, which I assumed was so there was no back flow, basically a one way valve.


APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#4
Supplier #2 sells used CPAP machines. I wonder if they do anything to sterilize?
You could email them and ask...

cate, I'm not sure that's a one way valve. There are antibacterial filters that go in the 22mm output circuit.
I've seen them used on the big roll-around hospital machines; and my S9 even has a setting for the AB filter.
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#5
(11-22-2015, 04:50 PM)justMongo Wrote: Supplier #2 sells used CPAP machines. I wonder if they do anything to sterilize?
Why should I buy a used machine?
Every machine we sell is pressure tested prior to resale to insure that your device is pressure-accurate. By the time we are finished cleaning the used cpap or used bipap machines we offer, they are as clean as if they just left the manufacturer. The inside of the machines are cleaned with a combination of Ozone, and UV-C light; The same sterilizing techniques used for surgical equipment, and in dentist offices around the country. Externally, we clean the devices with a biodegradable solution that is used in hospitals across the country to provide a completely sanitized surface. We pride ourselves on providing a clean, quality used cpap/bipap machine.
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#6
Or, zonk could just look it up on their website...
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#7
This is just me being paranoid,Unsure but I would not buy used unless it was from a known supplier like Supplier #2.

Who else could possiblly clean and restore to the level that is described on their website?
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#8
Well, obviously I am paranoid too. Already phoned my friend and told her Thanks but no. I think I'd be afraid to even take the first breath from it.

So based on what I've heard from all of you and another article I saw online (which albeit dated back to 2006) which spoke of bacteria possibly being a CPAP machine that was not cared for properly.

So, I just can't do it. Thanks all for the opinions though!!
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#9
Zonk: no offense, but I don't think that your rehab process actually achieves true sterilization. (I'm a pathologist and I taught Universal Precautions and sterilization methods for about 15 years). Look up the "sterilization methods wiki" page for a brief rundown; ozone, used in proper sterilization methods, is toxic and hazardous. UV light is OK for surfaces, but has no penetration into nooks and crannies. Also, "sanitized" is a near meaningless term that is NOT sterilized. Sanitized only means that something has been cleaned. But, for a used CPAP machine, sanitized is just fine.

Bacteria and fungi (molds) must be moist to survive. The biggest potential contamination source in a CPAP machine is the humidifier tank. Periodically, I fill my tank with 70% ethanol and a very small amount, about half a teaspoon, of bleach, let it sit for about an hour, then rinse it over and over until the bleach odor is gone. For tanks with seals, I would not use the bleach, as it will damage the seals over time. My old tank had no integrated seals; my new tank does, so no bleach.

I think that the cleaning protocol described by zonk is just fine for the level of cleanliness needed for a used machine for resale. Replacing the tube and mask for a new patient is really the only mandatory element. There's nothing wrong with being paranoid; it's a matter of personal preference, not real medical risk.
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#10
Have anyone tried the SoClean sterilize machine and how efective and secure to use it? I still having problem cleaning up mine using mild soap, even water with a little vinegar mixing. It's really bothers me to breath after the cleaning. Looking for something effective and quicker. I appreciate any advice, thanks!
Guillermor1
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