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    Sleep apnea

    For consumers:

    Frequently asked questions about our Sleep apnea products specific to COVID-19

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    If you or a loved one think you may have had exposure to COVID-19, please contact your local emergency medical personnel or your doctor immediately.

    We’re here to help.

     

    If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, we take your care very seriously during these difficult times. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving.  As always, you can find more information about sleep apnea and our products, including tips and videos, here.

     

    At Philips, we are here to help you get the restful night’s sleep you deserve.

    Support and service

     

    Our call center agents are mobilized and ready to assist you with any immediate questions about our sleep or respiratory products.

    Please call us at
    1 (800) 345-6443.

    Sleep Apnea FAQs

    Does having sleep apnea put me at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?
    Everyone has a unique health situation. Please contact your physician or medical professional for your personal advice and follow your national or international guidelines. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
    Will using my CPAP therapy put my bed partner more at risk?

    If you suspect that you have the COVID-19 virus, using your CPAP could increase* the risk of spreading the virus to others around you.   Follow the CDC guidelines for those with the virus including:

     

    • Separating yourself from other people in your home. 
    • Staying and sleeping in a specific “sick room.” 
    • Using a separate bathroom if one is available.
    • Covering your coughs and sneezes with tissue.
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
    • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces in your “sick room” every day. 
    • Seek medical care if your illness gets worse.  Call your doctor or emergency room before going in and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.

     

    *The CPAP aerosols your exhalation out the ports in your mask and tubing.  Therefore, if you are sleeping with someone and have COVID 19 you could put them more at risk.  An example of the studies to support this risk include the National Center for Biotechnology Information - Part of NIH 

     

    Note: Cleaning any device or mask in the manner recommended following the instructions in your user manuals does not guarantee decontamination or disinfection from the COVID-19 virus. For more information on disinfection, contact your home healthcare supplier.

    Will my CPAP therapy help protect me from the COVID-19 virus?
    Sleep therapy machines are designed to treat symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. They do not prevent you from contracting COVID-19.  Please contact your physician or other healthcare authority for more information about COVID-19 and ways to prevent contracting and spreading it. See the CDC advice.
    If I need to be hospitalized for any reason, should I take my CPAP machine with me and use it?

    It is important to tell your doctors and other medical care providers that you are diagnosed with sleep apnea and use a CPAP at home. You should tell your primary care doctor and the doctor treating you for sleep apnea that you are going into the hospital. Also, if hospitalized, inform the doctor caring for you in the hospital that you have sleep apnea and ask him/her if you should continue using your CPAP.

     

    If you are going to hospital with symptoms to be evaluated for the COVID-19 virus, ask the hospital first if they want you to bring your PAP equipment  just in case they admit you to the hospital or ask you to otherwise go into isolation.

    What should I do if I can no longer purchase distilled water? Can I still use my PAP machine’s humidifier?

    Philips Respironics general recommendations around the use of water for DreamStation and DreamStation Go humidifiers are as follows:

     

    • Philips Respironics recommends using room temperature distilled water, if available, to prevent mineral build up on the humidifier tank base.
    • Never use water from a biologically unsafe source such as a lake, river, stream, or unfiltered well.

     

    If you can no longer access distilled water, follow these instructions to maintain your humidifier water tank while using tap or bottled water.  Perform these cleaning steps monthly or more frequently, as needed.

     

    1. Remove the water tank from the humidifier.
    2. Remove the lid from the water tank.
    3. Wipe the inside of the tank base with a damp cloth to remove any debris.
    4. Fill the tank base with undiluted white vinegar (5% acetic acid) and soak for a minimum of four hours or until the tank base is visually clear of mineral build up.
    5. Empty the vinegar from the tank base.
    6. Thoroughly rinse the tank base with water.
    7. Inspect the tank base for any damage and replace it if necessary.

     

    Should I continue to use my CPAP therapy if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

    If you have COVID-19, it is important to talk to your medical provider before stopping any medical treatments, including CPAP therapy. It is possible that using CPAP could increase* the risk of spreading the virus to others around you. Be sure to talk to your medical provider about this risk.

     

    If you are sick with the coronavirus, you should follow current national or international guidelines.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations are:

     

    • Stay home except to get medical care.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue.
    • Separate yourself from other people in your home.
    • Stay in a specific “sick room.”
    • Use a separate bathroom if one is available.
    • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, or utensils with others.
    • Wear a facemask when you are around other people.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your “sick room” every day.
    • Seek medical care if your illness gets worse.
    • Call ahead before visiting your doctor or hospital

     

    *The CPAP aerosols your exhalation out the ports in your mask and tubing.  Therefore, if you are sleeping with someone and have COVID 19 you could put them more at risk.  An example of the studies to support this risk include the National Center for Biotechnology Information - Part of NIH

     

    Note: Cleaning any device or mask in the manner recommended following the instructions in your user manuals does not guarantee decontamination or disinfection from the COVID-19 virus. For more information on disinfection, contact your home healthcare supplier.

    How can I be sure I am cleaning and disinfecting my CPAP therapy equipment correctly?

    It’s important to clean your equipment as specified in the instructions for use that came with your equipment.  Poor or inappropriate maintenance can make your sleep therapy ineffective and damage your equipment.  Please contact your home healthcare equipment provider for disinfection recommendations for your specific equipment used.

     

    Note: Cleaning any device or mask in the manner recommended following the instructions in your user manuals does not guarantee decontamination or disinfection from the COVID-19 virus. For more information on disinfection, contact your home healthcare supplier.