FAQs For Drivers

When the driver arrives at the lab, after paperwork is filled out, he/she is led to a comfortable sleeping room. Some are equivalent to a hotel room with homey furnishings, snacks and private bathrooms.

The driver is then hooked up to about 20 electrodes — one on the chest, one on the ribcage, two on each leg, two on the chin, one on the neck, one below the eye, several on the scalp, one under each ear, a sensor under the nose, in addition to straps under the arms and around the waist.

Calibration movements are done to confirm the equipment is working before turning out the lights for 45 minutes.

Drivers are then encouraged to sleep as their behaviors are monitored.

The drivers’ test is reviewed by a Sleep Boarded Sleep Physician shortly after the completion of their sleep study.

Drivers have the opportunity to speak with a physician at any time after their sleep study and can ask as many questions as they need during their sleep study.

If and only if our drivers are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the driver will be given a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment the next morning following their sleep study. This is done in order to get the driver back on the road as quickly as possible. The lab techs are specifically trained on the education needed for our commercial truck drivers.

PPD has partnered with sleep labs in Houston and Dallas, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; Chicago, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Memphis, Tenn.; Atlanta, Ga.; Harrisburg Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Redlands, Ca.; Seattle Wash.; Portland, Oregon; West Allis ,Wisc.; Southhaven and Cornith, Miss., and a newly signed lab in North Carolina. More to be announced soon.

Patients can be diagnosed in the comfort of their own home while wearing a small wrist device. The Watch-PAT provides in addition to quantifiable apnea information, extensive sleep information, clinically comparable to sleep data obtained in a sleep lab. While providing more clinical information than any other Level III or Level IV devices, the Watch-PAT provides for the simplest and most reliable data acquisition in a nonattended setting.

1. Your CPAP unit should be kept in a dirt and dust free environment. You will need to store your CPAP unit inside the carrying case it came in, or wrap it inside a towel/blanket after your treatment session. This will ensure that your CPAP unit is also protected from cigarette smoke contamination.

2. Make sure your CPAP unit is secured while you are driving to protect it from bouncing and falls. The following is a schedule of cleaning and maintenance recommendations:

Daily: If possible, disconnect your air tubing from your CPAP unit and hang it in a clean and dry place until next use.

If using a humidifier with your treatment, make sure you empty the water chamber of any left over water prior to driving. The CPAP unit is NOT waterproof and if there is water in the water chamber- it is very likely that your CPAP unit will suffer water damage. It is preferable to use distilled water in your humidifier chamber (to reduce the mineral ring build up inside your chamber), but not necessary.

Weekly: Wash the air tube (hose) in warm water using mild detergent (i.e. Ivory Liquid Soap) and rinse thoroughly. Drip dry away from sunlight. Wash your mask and cushion components including the harness in mild detergent. Wipe the mask and cushions dry and air dry the harness.

Monthly: Clean the exterior of the CPAP unit with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

AIR FILTERS: Your CPAP unit has a disposable air filter in the back, under the blue air filter cover. If driving in dusty conditions, it is probably a good idea to change your air filter every other month or sooner. The air filter is NOT washable or reusable.

To change the air filter:

Remove the air filter cover in the back of your CPAP unit and remove the old air filter. Insert a new filter with the blue tinted side facing out from the device. Make sure to replace the air filter cover.

The wear and tear on CPAP equipment is different for each individual, but most people need to replace their equipment as follows:

Every 6 Months: Mask, Hose and Water chamber

Every 2 Months or sooner: Cushions for your mask and air filters.

*Cushions (like a toothbrush) need to be replaced often because they wear out from usage. It may not be visually obvious to you, but a worn out cushion could affect your treatment by increasing leaks around the mask.

Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics will automatically place you on a bi-yearly equipment replacement schedule. If you feel you need more or less equipment replacement items, please write or call us at 1-866- 370-3102 and we will be happy to accommodate your special needs.

Your data card is located in the front pocket of your black or blue CPAP carrying case. 1) Once you have found your data card you will need to make sure that you replaced the cover to the back of your CPAP unit after you removed your transmitter device. This is important, because the cover guides your data card and without it- your data card may get stuck inside the CPAP unit. 2) Slide the data card into the back of your unit with the writing facing upward and the arrow pointing toward the unit. 3) Your LCD screen will prompt you with the following message: “card inserted, please wait”- “copy complete, please remove card”. 4) Once you see the “please remove card” message- remove the card- place back in the folder and mail to PPD. You should have a pre-addressed envelope- if not, our address is: 8275 El Rio, Suite 110/Houston, TX. 77054.

Check grey power cord for tight connections. Are you using your CPAP unit with a 200Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter? Is the air filter in the back of your CPAP unit clean? You must empty your humidifier chamber when not in use. CPAP units damaged by water will need to be replaced by the driver. Make sure there are no kinks in your air hose. LCD screen displays an error message indicating Call Service. Please call PPD for assistance (Mon-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., CST). Your unit may need replaced.

Try loosening the straps on your mask. You may also wish to use the mask fit feature on your CPAP unit. This feature delivers air pressure for a 3 minute period, prior to starting treatment, during which you can check and adjust your mask fit to minimize leaks. Note: please make sure the mask setting on your screen is the same as the mask that you are using. To start your mask fit feature:

With your mask on your face, hold down the start/stop button for at least 3 seconds until the air pressure delivery begins. You will see a series of stars rating your mask fit. ( Excellent, Very good, Good, poor etc.) These star ratings are supposed to guide you in making mask adjustments if necessary. If you continue to experience pain or high leak with you mask, please call PPD you may need another mask model.

Make sure your air filter is clean and unobstructed. If using your humidifier, make sure you are hooked up to a hard wired inverter to obtain enough power to run both your CPAP and humidifier unit.

During treatment, if using high air pressure with a high humidifier setting it may drain your power source. Do not have several other appliances or electronic equipment connected in your truck. Call PPD to discuss this problem. Make sure your power source is making a tight connection with your unit. Make sure no air hose kinks that could obstruct the air flow from your CPAP unit.

Your unit will continue to run (hum) for approximately 30 minutes after you shut it off in order to dry the unit of any excess moisture.

You may be in Ramp/Settling time- wait for the machine to build up or change the Ramp/Settling time by using the downward arrow key on your CPAP key pad. Make sure your air filter is clean and unobstructed. Make sure your power source is working. Make sure your hose is properly connected to your unit and your mask. Your treatment requirements may have changed- please call PPD for further assistance in troubleshooting this issue.

There may be a High Leak from your mask. Turn your CPAP unit off and restart to reset the pressure back to your ramp/ settling time. Make sure you adjust your mask properly to reduce mask leaks. If your LCD screen displays, “ High Leak in Last Session”- press the exit button until the message disappears. Place mask on your face, turn unit on and breath into mask for a few minutes until the message resets itself. If you are having trouble obtaining a good mask fit, or you continue to experience mask leaks call PPD during normal business hours to obtain further assistance. If you continue to have pressure issues, please contact PPD.

You may experience dryness of the nose, mouth and or throat as well as sneezing and or runny nose during the course of treatment. Make sure that your humidifier is turned on and that you are using your CPAP unit/humidifier with the proper power source. If you are only using a DC 12 converter that plugs into the cigarette lighter to power your unit and humidifier, you will not obtain enough power to run the humidifier adequately. Make sure that your humidifier dial is turned up (turn to the right to increase humidification) if you continue to experience dryness or congestion.