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Observations

Morning

When removing the mask in the morning, pay attention to the following:

  • Skin: chafing from the mask, redness/sores?
  • Eyes: red, runny?
  • Nose: blocked, runny, sneezing, sinus problems?

If there are such symptoms, they are most probably related to the mask.  See previous chapter, Preventing complications, for prevention and relief.

Daytime

If the patient experiences the following during the daytime:

  • Sleepiness - more than ‘usual’.
  • Develops a headache.
  • Becomes unwell.
  • Loses his/her appetite.

These are most likely related to the actual therapy. The treating doctor should be contacted to adjust the settings.

In addition, observe the following:

  • Mucus: Coloured, easy to get up, amount?
  • Signs of infection: Fever?

Mucus is always present in the airways and lungs - see the chapter on moving mucus. If the volume of mucus changes and it becomes discoloured (yellowish green/brown), it could indicate an infection. Always contact a doctor, when accompanied by a fever.

Nighttime

Note the following:

  • Is the mask leaking?
    • Adjust the mask if the leak wakes the patient up, otherwise this is not necessary with minor leakage. Avoid tightening the straps each time there is a slight leak. Instead, ‘move it slightly on the face’ and see if it seals again. The leakage could be due to displacement of the mask.
  • Restlessness? Disturbed sleep? Try to find out why the user’s sleep is disturbed.
    • Is the mask uncomfortable for the user? Adjust the mask.
    • Is the user breathless? Contact the doctor the following day to adjust the settings on the machine, if applicable.
    • Does the user have a headache? Contact the doctor the following day for a check-up or to adjust the settings on the machine, if applicable.