PB lightens CPAP to 1.5 lbs.

Friday, February 28, 2003

PLEASANTON, Calif. - As with laptop computers, cell phones and oxygen concentrators, the quest to make smaller and lighter without sacrificing function has not been lost on manufacturers of CPAPs.

This month, Puritan Bennett (PB) expects to start shipping what it claims is the lightest CPAP on the market. At 1.54 lbs., the GoodKnight 420 is about half the weight of rival lightweight CPAPs.

That drop in weight coupled with the unit’s 3-inch width, says PB, is bound to make traveling with CPAP easier. “Our expectation is that we could improve patient compliance by making it easier to carry and less obtrusive,” said PB’s vice president of marketing, Lori Thompson.

Getting the CPAP down to 1.54 lbs. meant having to engineer a proprietary blower. But it did not mean having to sacrifice decibels. At 10 cmH20 of pressure, Thompson said, the blower is producing 31 decibels of noise.

Like larger CPAPs, the new GoodKnight accommodates a 4-20 cmH20 pressure range at 21-31 decibels. The unit’s S model tracks usage and records up to 600 eight-hour sleep sessions. When fully charged, its battery will power the unit for a full night’s sleep.

Providers say lightweight CPAPs are in demand by significant numbers of people aged 40 to 60, who constitute the bulk of the market for CPAP. One of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Apnea Etc.’s patients, an engineer, was so determined to reduce the weight of his unit that he proposed engineering one himself.

“I discouraged him right away,” said Apnea’s owner Sandy Fermoil. “Because you’d still have to carry the humidifier. If people travel, you go into a hotel, it’s usually drier than your house.” HME