FAQs on device use, cleaning & maintenance

Find answers to the questions that your patients frequently ask about device cleaning & maintenance, tips for using devices, and travel solutions.

Helping patients use a therapy device

Why is my patient's therapy device shutting off at night?

There could be a number of reasons for this. The following suggestions should help you to identify and resolve the problem:

  • Check that your patient’s device is turned on and that the mask is properly adjusted. If you’re not sure how to adjust your patient’s mask, you might find our FAQs on Mask Fitting helpful. If your patient is experiencing high leak and Smart Start/Stop is turned on, it’s possible the device is stopping automatically because of the leak.
  • Check that the power plug is fully and correctly inserted in the device. When it is correctly inserted, the power button will light up.
  • Ensure that no blankets or other objects are covering the power supply unit or the device.
  • Check whether the filter is clear. If it is blocked, replace the filter.
  • For S9 therapy devices, check that the therapy device’s lid is properly closed. If your patient is using a humidifier, make sure the humidifier lid is also closed and that the humidifier tub is fully inserted.
  • Make sure the patient is not using the Start/Stop button to light the LCD during the night, as this will stop the therapy.
  • Check whether there’s a message on the screen. If there is, follow the instructions to clear the message.
  • Try unplugging the device, then plugging it in again.
  • From time to time there may be power disturbances that cause the device to power down. Ask your patient to check if other devices (e.g. alarm clock) have powered off at the same time.
  • If your patient is set up on an activated AirSense 10 or AirCurve 10 therapy device, you will find useful information on AirView Remote Assist to help you troubleshoot the issue remotely.

My patient is experiencing a dry throat or nasal congestion while using the device. What are the options?

We suggest that you try the following solutions:

  • Humidifier. Using a PAP therapy device or other sleep apnea therapy device can sometimes lead to drying and congestion of the throat, nose, and mouth. This is because the airflow generated by the device is often greater than your patient’s body is accustomed to humidifying on its own. Humidifiers and heated tubes can increase the amount of humidity in the air your patient breathes in, which can help to reduce these symptoms and make therapy more comfortable.
  • Nasal decongestant. Nasal allergies and congestion can result in patients breathing through their mouth during the night. This dries the throat and mouth and can negatively affect their sleep apnea therapy. A nasal decongestant or antihistamine could help to alleviate this issue.
  • Chinstrap. If your patient has a dry nose and mouth during sleep apnea treatment, it might be because of an open mouth during sleep. A chinstrap could resolve this issue by keeping your patient’s mouth closed throughout the night.
  • Full face mask. Chronic nasal allergies or other nasal problems such as a deviated septum can make it difficult to breathe through the nose. Full face masks, which ensure your patients receive their treatment whether they breathe through their nose or mouth, could be the answer.

My patient is experiencing problems with bloating. What do you recommend?

Some people experience bloating when using a PAP device, particularly when treatment first starts. If your patient is having trouble with bloating, we suggest trying the following solutions.

  • Try to avoid swallowing air. If new to sleep apnea therapy, your patient may be swallowing air rather than breathing normally. Swallowing air can cause bloating. Your patient should try to breathe as normally as possible when using the therapy device.
  • Try using an APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) therapy device. If your patient’s pressure needs vary throughout the night, one of ResMed’s AutoSet™ therapy devices might be a good choice. These devices automatically adjust pressure throughout the night to suit your patient’s unique breathing patterns. By providing less pressure when they need less pressure, an AutoSet device can help to reduce bloating.

My patient is finding it hard to fall asleep when using the therapy device. What solution can I offer?

We recommend that you try the following solutions with your patient:

  • The “Ramp” option. The Ramp feature is designed to make therapy more comfortable. It helps your patient ease into therapy each night by setting the device at a lower pressure than prescribed and slowly ramping up to the full therapy pressure over a maximum of 45 minutes. Using Ramp means the device has more time to reach the prescribed therapy pressure and your patient has more time to comfortably fall asleep. On ResMed’s AirSense 10 therapy devices, we recommend that you use the AutoRamp feature which will automatically detect when your patient falls asleep and increase pressure from this moment on.
  • An APAP therapy device. If your patient’s pressure needs vary throughout the night, one of ResMed’s AutoSet™ therapy devices might be a good choice. These devices automatically adjust pressure throughout the night to suit your patient’s unique breathing needs.
  • The EPR feature. ResMed therapy devices have an Expiratory Pressure Relief (EPR) feature that decreases pressure as your patient exhales. This can make breathing out feel more natural and comfortable.
  • Patience: remind your patient that it takes time to get used to treatment!  It takes a while for most people to get comfortable using a PAP device and mask every night. Some patients find that wearing their mask with the therapy device running during the day, for example while watching TV, helps them to get used to it.

My patient wants to turn off the device to save power. Is this recommended?

The Power Save mode is designed to reduce energy consumption. It is activated by pressing the Start/Stop button for 3 seconds. We advise at least a 2-minute wait after the end of therapy if your patient still wishes to unplug the device.

If you are using telemonitoring to track your patient’s data, the device needs to remain turned on so the data can be sent.

Helping patients clean their humidifiers

Regular maintenance and cleaning will keep a humidifier in good working order and help patients enjoy a fresher therapy experience.

How often should my patient clean the humidifier water tub?

Each humidifier user guide contains instructions on cleaning that specific type of device and its components. In general, the water tub should be washed every day in warm water with a mild detergent, then rinsed thoroughly with clean water and left to dry away from direct sunlight. Every month, the water tub should be inspected for wear and deterioration and replaced if any component is cracked, cloudy or pitted. 

Patients should not use any of the following to clean their humidifiers as these solutions may cause damage and reduce the life of the product:

  • Bleach, chlorine-, alcohol- or ammonia-based solutions
  • Moisturising, antibacterial or glycerine based soaps,
  • Water softening and unapproved descaling agents

For your convenience, here are the cleaning instructions for ResMed’s heated humidifier:

Every day

  1. Wash the disassembled tub lid, plate and base in warm water using a mild detergent.
  2. Rinse thoroughly in clean water and allow them to dry away from direct sunlight.

Every month

  1. Peel the flip lid seal from the flip lid and wash it in warm water using a mild detergent.
  2. Wipe the exterior of the humidifier with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Please note that the disassembled tub lid, plate and base may also be washed in a dishwasher on the delicate or glassware cycle (top shelf only). White powder deposits in the water tub can be removed using a solution of one part household vinegar to 10 parts water.

How often should my patient clean their ClimateLine or SlimLine tubing? How should it be cleaned?

Please refer to the tubing user guide for detailed instructions on cleaning. In general, the air tubing should be removed every day by pulling on the finger grips on the cuff. Hang the tubing in a clean, dry place until its next use.
Please note: Air tubing should not be hung in direct sunlight as it may harden over time and eventually crack.

Air tubing should not be washed in a washing device or dishwasher.

Every week, patients should remove the air tubing from their therapy device and mask by pulling on the finger grips on the cuff, then wash the air tubing in warm water using mild detergent. They should rinse the tubing thoroughly, hang it up in a clean, dry place, and allow it to dry. They should reconnect the air tubing to the air outlet and mask next time they use the device.

How should I disinfect the humidifier when it’s used in multipatient environments?

ResMed has recommended and validated procedures for cleaning and disinfecting heated humidifiers for multipatient use in a sleep lab, clinic or hospital. Please refer to our ResMed humidifier disinfection guide for these instructions.

Please note that the steps for disinfection vary regionally. As such, each healthcare facility should consult its own procedures before carrying out those in this guide.

Devices and SD cards

We recommend using the SD (Secure Digital) cards that were supplied by ResMed as these have been validated to conform to legal safety standards. ResMed has selected several SD cards that conform to legal safety requirements (e.g. IEC 60601-1) and supplies these with the therapy device or as accessories. Not all SD cards on the market conform to legal requirements or have been tested and validated to work with ResMed’s devices.

How much storage do ResMed’s sleep therapy devices use on the SD card?

It varies depending on the sleep therapy device. For example, on an S9 therapy device a 1GB SD card easily stores 365 days of usage data, 30 days of detailed data, and seven days of high-resolution data. On all AirSense 10 or AirCurve 10 therapy devices, you can get up to 365 days of usage data, and 30 days of both detailed and high-resolution data.

Can my patients use miniSD or microSD cards with their devices?

No. These SD cards would work with their device if they were used with an adapter, but they have not been shown to meet the IEC 60601-1 medical electrical equipment safety requirements for this therapy device. As a result, ResMed recommends that they should not be used.

Can my patients use SDHC, mini SDHC, micro SDHC, or SDXC cards with their therapy devices?

No. Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) cards, as well as mini and micro SDHC cards and SDXC cards, do not work with any ResMed sleep therapy devices.

What is the recommended way to remove an SD card and insert a new one?

On the AirSense 10 and AirCurve 10 therapy devices, you will need to open the SD card cover to access to the SD Card. To remove the SD card, you need to push the SD card in to release it, and then pull it out. To insert the SD Card, push the SD card into the device until it clicks. We recommend that you insert the SD card when the device is turned off. It is also possible to insert the SD card when the device is powered but not delivering therapy. If the card needs to be removed to check data, please wait at least two minutes after stopping therapy before removing the SD card from the device.

On all AirSense 10 and AirCurve 10 devices, there is a LED next to the SD card slot that indicates when it is safe to remove the SD card. When the LED is flashing, the device is using the SD card and the SD card should not be removed. You can safely remove the SD card when the LED turns off.

Travelling with ResMed devices

My patient frequently travels with a sleep therapy device and wants an extra power supply to take along. Is it possible to buy power supplies separately?

Yes. ResMed offers an 90W power supply that can be used to connect a ResMed sleep therapy device and its humidifier to the mains electricity supply. If your patient doesn’t need a humidifier, the smaller, lighter 30W Power Supply might be more convenient and is available for the S9 therapy devices only.

These power supplies can be plugged into wall sockets with an AC configuration and cannot be used with a DC configuration. Patients who need to power their sleep device from a car or boat battery or similar, will need the DC converter.

My patient is going on holiday and won't have reliable access to mains electricity. Is there a solution for this?

Yes. ResMed offers a DC converter that patients can use to power their ResMed sleep therapy devices from a car or boat battery or similar. Please note that DC converters are not to be used with ventilators.

Does ResMed offer lightweight accessories that are suitable for travel?

Yes. Our SlimLine tubing is one of the slimmest, most flexible tubes on the market. It’s 40% lighter, 20% thinner and takes up 35% less space than traditional CPAP tubing, making it ideal for travelling. The streamlined design also makes it easier for patients to move around in bed without pulling on the mask, so their mask and seal stay stable.

My patient wants to travel and bring a sleep therapy device. What protection advice can you provide?

ResMed’s AirMini, AirSense 10 and AirCurve 10 travel bags are the ideal travel companions for ResMed’s sleep therapy devices. These sturdy, convenient hold-alls protect the therapy device, the humidifier, tubing and mask when patients are travelling. They also have a storage compartment for extras, such as cleansing wipes or spare filters.

Our travel bags are well-padded, easy to pack and easy to carry by the handles or the convenient shoulder strap.

My patient needs constant ventilation but doesn't want to be stuck at home. How should my patient protect the ventilator while on the move?

We offer sturdy, custom-designed travel bags for our Astral and Stellar ventilators and associated accessories. All of our bags can be attached to a bed or a wheelchair, and offer access to the user interface so patients and carers can view and access alarms and controls without removing the device.

The Astral mobility bag  protects your patient’s Astral life support ventilator and accessories during travel. The Mobility Bag is easy to carry by hand or as a backpack thanks to its broad, comfortable shoulder straps. The user interface is fully accessible while the ventilator is inside the bag and the Astral’s alarm systems function inside the Mobility Bag at a volume range of 45–75 dBA (in five steps) for greater safety and peace of mind.

The Stellar mobility bag  gives your patient the reassurance of sturdy, purpose-built protection against knocks, dust and water.

Keep exploring


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4Looking for ResMed warranty information on your patient’s mask, CPAP device or other ResMed product? Find the answers here.