Yes it can. In cases where your Doctor has prescribed both Oxygen Therapy and CPAP Therapy, those two Therapies can be combined using a simple Oxygen Bleed-In Connector. However, there are some cases that can make that connection a little trickier. It is important to always consult with your Doctor regarding your Oxygen and CPAP needs.
How to Connect Oxygen to the CPAP with a Bleed-in connector
The Bleed-in connector is the simplest way to combine Oxygen and CPAP. This connector usually connects between the outflow of the CPAP and the CPAP tubing. Then, you connect your Oxygen Tubing to the smaller nipple on the side of the Bleed-in Connector. It can also be connected between the end of your CPAP Tubing and the CPAP Mask. If you decide to connect it with the second method, then you will have two tubes coming to your CPAP mask. It can be good to use tape or some sort of strap to keep the two tubes together to make sure that the oxygen tube does not disconnect at night. With both of these options you will want to make certain that your Oxygen Concentrator is set at the prescribed setting from your Doctor. If you are unsure of that setting, you should consult with your Doctor immediately.
How to Connect Oxygen to a CPAP with heated tubing
If you use Heated Tubingon your CPAP machine, then connecting your oxygen can be a little trickier. There are two methods for making this connection happen.
The first would be similar to the second option that we described above. You would need to place the Bleed-in connector in between the CPAP Mask and the end of the CPAP Tube. Then connect your Oxygen Tube in to the smaller nipple on the side of the Bleed-in connector.
The second option would be for you to purchase a Heated Tube with a built in Oxygen connector. For instance, the AirSense 10 and AirCurve CPAP from ResMed have a ClimateLineAir Oxy Tube available. That particular heated tubing has a built-in oxygen port so that you can connect the Oxygen directly into the elbow of the Heated Tubing. If your CPAP Machine does not have this option then you will have to use the first method described above.
How to get Oxygen for a CPAP Machine
The first step in the process is to consult with your Doctor. In many cases a Doctor that is concerned about your Oxygen levels they may issue an Oximetry Test. That test is usually worn overnight at the same time as wearing your CPAP. It records your oxygen levels throughout the night so that the Doctor can determine what your oxygen level are doing at night. If the Doctor determines that your oxygen levels are too low, even on your CPAP, then the Doctor may order Oxygen to be bled into your CPAP. In this case you would more than likely need to obtain an Oxygen Concentrator and it would be set at a prescribed Liter Flow. Then, that Oxygen Concentrator would be connected to your CPAP using one of the methods described previously in this blog. If you are purchasing your own Oxygen Concentrator be sure that it is a Continuous Flow model instead of a Pulse Dose Oxygen Concentrator. Most of the Smaller Portable Oxygen Concentrators are “pulse-dose” and will not work for bleeding into CPAP.