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Case Study: Are used CPAP machines safe?

CASE STUDY: Are used CPAP machines safe?

Date published: February 16th 2021



Background: Currently, there is little information on the internet that provides clear, objective evidence about whether using a used CPAP machine is safe or not. Therefore, we conducted this study to provide clear, objective evidence of whether used CPAP machines were contaminated with harmful pathogens or not. We tested several used CPAP machines for the presence of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and mold.

Methods: Our lab technicians swabbed and tested several used CPAP machines for the presence of harmful pathogens. The primary tool we used for swabbing and testing is the 'Hygiena Pro-Clean Surface Protein Residue Test - Rapid Protein Residue Test'. The Hygiena Pro-Clean Surface Protein Test checks for the presence of organic/biological proteins and has been proven to be an excellent measure of whether a surface is sterile or not.  Each CPAP machine has 2 holes or entrances. The first hole is the spot where the CPAP patient normally connects their 6 foot tubing to their CPAP machine. Air from the CPAP patient's lungs passes through the 6 foot tubing and into the CPAP humidifier component via the first hole. The air then flows into the humidifier component and passes through the second hole that goes into the machine component of the CPAP machine. A major part of this study was to discover if we could detect biological proteins on both hole 1 and hole 2 of the CPAP machine.  We concluded that the presence of protein deposits on hole 2 would most likely mean that the proteins had traveled through the humidifier and deep into the machine component itself - contaminating the inside of the motor engine component of the machine.

Results: First, we swabbed and tested hole 1 and hole 2 of 10 CPAP machines that had been lightly used. These 10 lightly used machines were used less than 1000 hours or less than 4 months of use. Three of these machines tested positive for contamination at the site of the first hole. Since these 3 CPAP machines tested positive at hole 1, we went on to test hole 2 for contamination. We discovered that none of the 10 lightly used machines had contamination at the site of hole 2. Second, we repeated the experiment using 10 very used CPAP machines. These 10 very used machines were used more than 1000 hours and ranged between 1000 hours of use to 22,000 hours of use - or 4 months to 8 years of use respectively. Our lab technicians discovered contamination at the site of hole 1 on five of the very used CPAP machines. We then tested hole 2 of each of these 5 very used CPAP machines and discovered contamination on two of the very used CPAP machines. The 2 very used CPAP machines that tested positive for contamination at hole 1 and hole 2 had 11,000 hours of use and 22,000 hours of use.

Conclusions: We concluded that the extent of contamination was much less for the lightly used machines because fewer were contaminated at hole 1 and none were contaminated at hole 2. Next, we concluded that the extent of contamination was higher for the very used machines because 5 of them tested positive for contamination at hole 1, and 2 of these 5 machines tested positive for contamination at hole 2. We found that the chance of contamination at both hole 1 and hole 2 was higher for the machines that had been used the longest. Therefore, the risk of contamination is directly related to the number of hours the machine has been used - the higher the hours, the higher the risk.

The findings of this study emphasizes the importance of proper sanitization of all used CPAP machines.  We learned that proper sanitization of used CPAP machines should include a complete and thorough cleaning of hole 1. Furthermore, every machine that tests positive for contamination at hole 1 should also be checked for contamination at hole 2.  If contamination is found at hole 2, then the machine should be subjected to additional sanitization. Here at we sanitize all of our machines with the SoClean CPAP sanitizing system that pumps ozone deep inside the machine and destroys all viruses, bacteria, and mold. If a machine is found to be contaminated at hole 2, then we provide additional sanitization by processing the machine through the SoClean system 5 additional times rather than just once - and we thoroughly clean hole 2. We cannot guarantee that all used CPAP machines will have the same findings as ours because we only use our suppliers. Other sellers of used CPAP machines may have more contamination on their machines because they use different suppliers. And all of our CPAP machines are regularly screened and tested for the presence of contamination; whereas, other used CPAP sellers may not test their machines at all.

Our research into the safety of used CPAP machines has placed us as an authority in this area because no other used CPAP seller has conducted such research. If you are looking for an inexpensive, used CPAP machine that has been professionally screened and sanitized, then come visit us at and checkout our selection of used and new CPAP and BiPAP machines.



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