Looking for something?

Find it in our extensive resource library!

Smart Filters

  • Reset
  • Services

  • Who it's for

  • What it’s about

  • Format

View: 1069

Download: 9

Using a Philips Respironics Dreamstation CPAP device

This resource is a guide to the use of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

The equipment you should have includes:

  • 1 x CPAP machine
  • 1 x electrical power cable
  • 1 x air hosing or tubing
  • 1 x mask (type may vary depending on individual need)

What will happen during the night?

You may have been given this machine by your respiratory team to help with sleep disordered breathing issues or obstructive sleep apnoea. During the night the device will deliver a constant pressure to maintain a normal airway during sleep. This should result in an improved quality of sleep which will hopefully decrease the symptoms of daytime tiredness.

Know your device

An annotated photograph of the Philips Respironics Dreamstation CPAP Device, showing where the power connector, hose connection, humidifier unlock button, filter chamber, ramp button, control dial, LCD screen, and start button are located






Setting up the device

  1. Place the CPAP device in a suitable position near the bed with good clearance for the air inlet port (preferably on bed side table).
  2. Connect the power cord to the AC socket at the back of the device also connecting the CPAP device to your electrical power outlet.
  3. The machine will turn on. The LCD display will illuminate and the on/off button on the top of the machine will also light up.
  4. Connect one end of the tubing onto the hose connection point.
  5. Connect the other end of the tubing onto the mask.
  6. Open the humidifier chamber (if in use). Refill water to the max line in the humidifier chamber with cooled boiled water or distilled water.

Starting treatment

  1. The ‘My Info’ screen should be displayed on your device.

Device showing screen, with 'my info' highlighted






  1. Put the mask on as directed by the respiratory team.
  2. Press the power button
  3. Press the control wheel down to turn on the airflow and begin therapy. The therapy screen will be displayed which will show your treatment pressure.
  4. If you find the pressure too much to let you to go to to sleep, press the ‘Ramp’ button which will reduce the therapy to the lowest possible starting pressure (usually 4cm H2O) .
  5. You will see the therapy screen change to the diagram below. The pressure will then gradually increase back up to your treatment pressure over 20 to 40 minutes.

Diagram of device display screen showing 4.0cm H2O

  1. Make sure your mask is fitted correctly and there are no leaks around the mask cushion. If so, adjust as needed.
  2. If you wake and find the pressure is too high to go back to sleep press the ‘Ramp’ button again to return the machine to 4cm H2O which will allow you to return to sleep quicker.
  3. When you wake in the morning to finish treatment or if you need to get up in the night for any reason, press the control wheel again to turn the therapy off and return to the home screen. To restart treatment follow steps 2 onwards.
  4. If you have a humidifier attached, a small number setting will appear in the lower right of the screen (shown on the image below).
  5. If you feel the air is too cool, turn the control dial right to increase the number setting. If the air is too warm, turn the control dial left to reduce the number setting.
  6. The humidifier can go from a setting of 0 to 5. If you are unsure, try it set at 2 and find your comfort level from there.

Humidifier showing screen with dial to control temperature settings. On the lower right is a number between 0 and 5 to adjust the temperature.

How to use the humidifier

Not all ventilators have a humidifier attached. If yours does:

  1. Slide the humidifier bar until the rear chamber opens.

Humidifier bar slid across so the chamber has opened.

  1. Lift out the water chamber and fill with cool boiled water or distilled water to the max line.

Chamber max fill line

  1. Replace the chamber in the machine and close the lid.

You can control the humidifier’s temperature via the temperature control button (see steps 10 to 12 of ‘Starting treatment’ for further information)

Cleaning and maintenance

  1. Disconnect the air tubing and hang it in a clean dry place until next use. If needed, rinse out with warm water (not soapy) and leave to dry.
  2. Clean the mask daily with warm water and a cloth.
  3. Check hose connection (spaceship) filter and change if dirty or discoloured. Otherwise this should be changed monthly.
  4. Make sure to empty any water from humidifier chamber.
  5. Change water every day to reduce risk of infection. The chamber can be rinsed in warm water.

Do not dishwash the chamber or any of the masks or tubing.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

Contact us


Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: HV6

Resource Type: Article

How useful did you find this resource?*


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.