The following is the summary of “Positive Airway Pressure Device Care and Cleaning Practices in the Pediatric Home” published in the January 2023 issue of Respiratory Care by Willis, et al.

Positive airway pressure (PAP) machines need to be maintained with regular care and cleaning to function properly. Humidifiers have been linked to hospitalizations and illnesses due to improper cleaning and the use of tap water. Devices that use ozone or ultraviolet light to sanitize home PAP equipment have been marketed in recent years. Although researchers offer guidance at the clinic, investigators have yet to learn how often or well people clean their homes. In 2019-2020, a pediatric sleep clinic surveyed patients on their PAP cleaning habits at home. Manner, cleaning, and replacement frequency for each part, water type, the preferred method of instruction, and demographics were all covered in the survey. 

The major objective was to discover typical PAP cleaning routines in homes and evaluate them against supplied guidelines. The secondary objective was to learn whether PAP usage or improper cleaning led to or exacerbated respiratory-related symptoms (such stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, or coughing).  show that 96 people filled out the survey. Most people said they used soap and water once a week to clean their humidifier (31%), mask (36%), and tubes (41%). Most (64–67%) said they did not have any respiratory issues when using PAP, and most (74–77%) said they utilized pure water in their humidifier. Few responses suggested the presence of a cleaning apparatus. No correlations existed between how long someone used a PAP and how often they cleaned.

The link between age and cleanliness was only a little weak. Increased age was associated with lower cleaning frequency (r=0.20, P= .048).  Patients’ routines for maintaining their PAP equipment at home diverged widely from the recommendations made by clinicians. Most people said they cleaned things that should be cleaned every day at least once a week. There was a negligible number of people who said they had to use a cleaning device or were affected by respiratory issues when using PAP.