Thursday, November 7, 2013

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week: Cpap

K does not have sleep apnea however she has had several sleep studies to rule it out. You can  read about our experiences & some tips on "Surviving a Sleep Study" here. Many kids with Trisomy 21 do have sleep apnea though & one possible remedy is a CPAP machine. I have sleep apnea myself & have had a CPAP machine for a number of years so I thought I'd post some tips on using one.  These are from my own experience but I tried to think of it from a child's point of view.  I hope those of you in this situation find them useful.

Try to get a mask that fits well & leave it as loose as you are able - don't believe the helpful technician who has never actually worn one when they tell you it can be quite snug.

See if you can turn the pressure down as your child adjusts to using a CPAP machine.  Gradually adjust it upwards over a period of a week or two until you reach the prescribed pressure. 

Get a machine with a ramp feature. This allows the pressure to be set  lower as your child is falling asleep then ramp up later - a 1/2 hour delay is common.

I would also start out expecting your child to only wear it for a couple of hours then gradually increase the amount of time your child wears the mask until they are able to tolerate it for most of the night.

Watch for any irritation. You may have to switch masks, adjust it differently or put on some cream to prevent further rubbing & irritation while it heals. 

Explain everything & practice trying the mask on your child while it is not turned on & without the hose attached during the day when your child is in a more receptive mood. Waiting until bedtime when your child is tired to try it on for the first time may not be as well received. It may also help to try it on yourself & any cooperative siblings or even a favourite stuffed animal. 

Create a social story book  (in all your free time;)  with pics of your child using the mask & explaining what he needs to know about it. 

If any of you have used CPAP for your child I'd love to hear your tips & ideas on how to make it more successful.

1 comment:

  1. Snoring is also a major reason for sleep apnea. For the patients suffering from sleep apnea, cpap machines Canada are being used to treat the patients.