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Old 18-06-2009, 15:24   #1
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Cruising and CPAP

We bought the boat, we're counting the weeks until retirement -- and DH and I both got diagnosed with sleep apnea this spring. We're both using CPAP. Anyone out there also a hosehead? How do you make it work on the boat?
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Old 18-06-2009, 15:39   #2
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Some have a 12v DC input in addition to the 120v AC plug. If you need 120v AC then just about any inverter can provide the 100-200 watts needed. Just make sure your house battery bank is charged up.
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Old 18-06-2009, 15:44   #3
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I was on a charter earlier this year with a guy who used one. He ran it off an inverter and I did not notice much of an impact on the batteries. They also make battery powered versions.
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Old 18-06-2009, 17:10   #4
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Originally Posted by Ruby V View Post
We bought the boat, we're counting the weeks until retirement -- and DH and I both got diagnosed with sleep apnea this spring. We're both using CPAP. Anyone out there also a hosehead? How do you make it work on the boat?
You should set up several isolated battery banks. Some boats have two banks and a switch to run bank 1, bank 2, or both. Some others have a 3rd small bank for engine starting only that never can get drained by other loads. That way you can run your cpap off of just one battery bank without worrying about not being able to start your gen/engine in the morning.

I bought the battery backed AEIOmed Everest cpap several years ago when it first came out. At the time it was one of the only battery backed cpap machines on the market. If you check out the cpap forums, I think there are a lot more options now.

I've used mine on charter boats, used the battery at night and charged using a small portable Radio Shack inverter and a 12v outlet during the day. It's not perfect in that I get 7-8 hours of battery time, would like to have a little more capacity. On other boats that have AC power, I've carried a lightweight home made 40' extension cord. I've never drained the batteries.

They really don't draw that much power, you should be able to run them off the boat batteries. If you are worried about it, just beef up one or both of your house banks.
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Old 19-06-2009, 03:19   #5
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You should set up several isolated battery banks. Some boats have two banks and a switch to run bank 1, bank 2, or both. Some others have a 3rd small bank for engine starting only that never can get drained by other loads. That way you can run your cpap off of just one battery bank without worrying about not being able to start your gen/engine in the morning.

I bought the battery backed AEIOmed Everest cpap several years ago when it first came out. At the time it was one of the only battery backed cpap machines on the market. If you check out the cpap forums, I think there are a lot more options now.

I've used mine on charter boats, used the battery at night and charged using a small portable Radio Shack inverter and a 12v outlet during the day. It's not perfect in that I get 7-8 hours of battery time, would like to have a little more capacity. On other boats that have AC power, I've carried a lightweight home made 40' extension cord. I've never drained the batteries.

They really don't draw that much power, you should be able to run them off the boat batteries. If you are worried about it, just beef up one or both of your house banks.
Do you run the humidifier, too, or just the blower?
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Old 19-06-2009, 04:54   #6
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CPAP on tour ;-)

Had an old Respironics monster before (diagnosed more than 10 years ago), and purchased on my own expenses a Goodknight APAP. APAP is similar to CPAP but much more comfortable. A CPAP has a continuous airflow and airpressure, APAP senses your breathing, lets your breath alone and only when interruptions occure it will raise pressure and volume.

Several reasons: SOME people (like me) with a weak suffogatus will develop Reflux (inflammation through backflow of acid from stomach). The constant pressure of air tries to push it open. I was treated through years with wrong medication untill I met a lady doctor who knew about it, the doctor who prescriped the CPAP still does not believe it, but it helps a lot and sleeping comfort is uncompareable!!!

APAP is much more silent as it only seems to work when you need it, it applies a small constant airflow only to measure your breath.

Boating advantage: The Goodknight is (was?) the smallest available unit, comes with a world wide external 12V power adapter (the European version is more comfortable to use, the plug folds flat) and runs on 12V directly from boat or car battery and consumes only 20W under full load. Considered all other gadgets on a boat this is (almost) forgetable.

Downside, I am not at all impressed with the quality of this units (I have 2, one as spare), the push-buttons cover broke already, the daily use unit after switching on it does not fall back to low rev. unless you put on the mask. But up to know they did not really fail.

It makes sense to look around for purchasing, 1300 (for a unit made in France by a US Company), mostly 1000$ in the US and then I found a whole sale dealer who sold me one at a much lower price. Now this reflects prices 4 years ago.

My personal experiance, hope I could help

Henry
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Old 19-06-2009, 05:15   #7
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CPAP on tour, here is the link

Puritan Bennett | Product | Inquiry

not in any way related to them, if you find similar footprint and only 20W power consumption, please let me know. Humidifier with heater is extra, but I never needed that on sea level.

Henry
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Old 19-06-2009, 05:31   #8
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Get the surgery and toss the CPAC...... You'll never regret it!
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Old 19-06-2009, 05:49   #9
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I'm just thrilled that we're not the only hoseheads out there wanting to cruise! I'll look into both the Everest and the Goodknight, and DH will be looking into how we can beef up the battery banks. Thanks to you guys, I'm beginning to think this might actually be doable!
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Old 19-06-2009, 07:08   #10
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Get the surgery on Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Get the surgery and toss the CPAC...... You'll never regret it!
Thanks for the advise, mind telling me whom to ask do what where?

As I absolutely did not like the CPAP I underwent some surgery right at the beginning, but it did not help anything, in fact, occasionally I have problems swallowing now, gets in the wrong hole.

So what will I ask for?

I travel often Europe / Asia, hate the customs procedures, in Frankfurt they even opend the Goodknight, tearing the soft foam apart and when I complained they replied it is my business to provide access to any crevis inside. As if I have any influence on the design. Then they let the air pass through a drug testing device. I wonder what would have happened if there was a junkey in a hotel room a night before me. Drug in this apparatus is not from me as I breath what comes through, but try to talk to a stupid stubborn German officer.

I'd like to make mountain tours, biking, sleep outside in open air, all not really enjoyable when you rely on electrical power and a sensitive device.

Kindly share your knowledge and/or your medical friend. In Austria & Germany they could not help, CPAP is the standard procedure for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. One link might be helpfull.

Thanks,

Henry
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Old 19-06-2009, 08:36   #11
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I've had a close friend that had the problem and tired the various apparatus but finally did the surgical procedure. It was the one where they take a piece of leg mussel and connect it to the bottom/ back of the tongue. Not simple surgery but it was very effective.... UNTIL he gained weight. Weight gain undercuts the effect of the procedure and he had to go on a diet and change his eating habits and the problem then went away. He has maintained his doctor's recommended weight for 3 years and his Apnea as not reoccurred and his quality of life has significantly improved... and he is a much nicer person to work with early in the morning that he was!!!!

As I understand it, none of the surgical procedures presently being performed work well if you are overweight. They don't seem to work at all if you're significantly over weight. Most Apnea cases are the result of or are heavily influenced by body weight and specifically fat around the face and neck.

The good thing is that most people are more active while living on and cruising in a boat. Probably better and fewer meals. I know I always come back in better shape than when I arrived.

You may want to talk to your Dr. about the combo of weight and surgical process... no need to waste money and discomfort when it has little chance of providing meaningful improvement in quality of life.

Wishing you best of luck and fair winds
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Old 19-06-2009, 12:21   #12
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Do you run the humidifier, too, or just the blower?
Good point. I have never used a humidifier (have had cpap for 12-13 years, and never had much of a problem - other than a seemingly short lifespan on masks, last time I asked if I could try a humidifier and insurance said not if Dr did not mandate it....next time maybe.)

But you are correct that I believe the humidifiers have a small heater, so that would draw additional power. Your cpap should have the power requirements on the labels.

What kind of boat do you have? What are your cruising plans? A little vicarious cruising for those of use shore bound for the moment....
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Old 19-06-2009, 13:30   #13
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Not simple surgery but it was very effective.... UNTIL he gained weight.
Reality, this was a really well written post. I am probably right on the borderline for apnea. I am also overweight. Does anyone here have apnea without being overweight? I cannot EVER justify surgery to correct a problem that can be controlled by diet and exercise. Anyone know more about this condition? C
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Old 19-06-2009, 13:47   #14
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My wife used a CPAP plugged into AC from the inverter. With a total of 240 AH we were good to go on the hook for two or stretch three days without needing to recharge. She no longer uses the CPAP since she discovered a dental devise which positions the mouth at night to prevent apnea. Her dentist uses one--she tried it and loves it. If I needed to use the CPAP today I would rig up a solar cell system to recharge to allow longer time on the hook.
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Old 19-06-2009, 14:21   #15
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Does anyone here have apnea without being overweight?
In the last couple years I've met two people that have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) that I would consider normal weight, if not on the skinny side of normal. It's not the kind of thing that comes up in conversation much.

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She no longer uses the CPAP since she discovered a dental devise which positions the mouth at night to prevent apnea. Her dentist uses one--she tried it and loves it.
One of the gentlemen I mentioned above, used a dental device and loves it. He told me he had a number of trips back to fine tune it, however his dentist is 6 hours away from me so I did not go see him. I did a bit of online research but the combination of not finding enough evidence of their effectiveness and the potential variability from one dentist to the next made me concerned about the return on investment. e.g. my regular dentist, said "sure we do that, we take a mold and send it to a lab" - does not give one high confidence that it will be fit properly.

It would really be great to have a mouthpiece rather than cpap, but I wonder how you know if it works unless you have a sleep study with the dental appliance. It might "feel" better, but unless you actually measure the effectiveness, you might be only getting partial benefit.
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