This is a cautionary tale about CPAP use in hospital and I decided not to append it to the sticky but keep it as a stand-alone. However, if the management feels it should be with the sticky, please feel free to move it.
My husband, the CPAP user, spent almost 9 weeks in hospital this winter - he has only been home about 3 weeks. It started with a compression fracture of the L1 vertebra, along with edema in his legs which was exacerbated by the immobility that went with the fracture. We were trying to manage at home but he fell and damaged the skin of his legs which became infected. By the time he was seen in the emergency dept., he was very ill, with both the cellulitis infection and with septicemia.
After a couple of days, I took the CPAP machine and mask to his room but he was unable to tolerate it. The hospital was very hot (much too hot - I can't imagine what they were thinking) and the air extremely dry. In addition, my husband was getting supplemental oxygen through those little nasal canulas. Between them, they dried out his nose so that he was getting nose bleeds, and as well, his nose was too congested to breathe through. Also, the edema affected his whole body and not just his legs and his face was too puffy for the mask to fit properly. I encouraged him to keep trying and I urged the medical staff to give him some help and a respiratory technician did come once to see him at bedtime to try to adjust things but the situation was just too difficult for anything to work.
So, for all that time, even as he began to improve and after he had beaten the infections, he didn't get to use the machine. Now that he is home, he is trying again but he can't get the mask to seal properly; I think he needs a new mask. He'll get one but it is still somewhat difficult for him to get around so it is slow going.
The odd thing is, though, that he hardly snores at all in bed and this is a big change. If he falls asleep sitting up in his chair in the living room, he does snore but not in bed. Because it is more comfortable for his back, he is sleeping on 3 pillows and more or less on his back, although he does roll a bit to his right.
And, yes, the vertebra has healed but just barely and he needs some physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles and loosen them up. And also, yes, he is walking, with a walker. And driving.
The hospital didn't worry about the sleep apnea and if they wouldn't take it seriously, there wasn't much I could do. But there was no questioning of the machine or mask.
Otherwise, he got good care although on 2 occasions, concerning somewhat peripheral matters, I had to lose my temper to get some action.
BTW, in the summer of '06, he ended up in the ER of a different hospital for 2 nights with pneumonia and when the doctor discovered that my husband used a CPAP machine, he had me bring it in for the second night. Again, no questioning of the machine or mask.