Sleep Apnea Special Issuance & CPAP SD Card Error

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by kontiki, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. kontiki

    kontiki Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've had a Special Issuance for sleep apnea for several years.

    Every year, the FAA has asked for a full year's worth of data from the memory card in the CPAP machine.

    Last month, I started seeing a SD Card Error message on my machine. Getting a new memory card resolved the fault message. I have no idea if the data on the faulted card, that has been in the machine since last January will be readable or not.

    Anyone been through this before? Any recommendations?
     
  2. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I'm interested to hear. this is my worst nightmare, though my machine also "phones home" each day so they could create a record for me from that.
     
  3. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Depending on the machine, it may store the past data in non volatile memory in the machine, and then transfer to the card.

    My machine goes into a download mode when the SD card is re-inserted after taking it out and to the doc for reading.

    You could probably also go to a Sleep Apnea forum and ask the question there, specific to your machine.
     
  4. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah. You might not have the detailed info (daily/nightly data) but probably still have the summary data.
     
  5. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ..and if you utilization is 98% or better and you avg usage is>6 hrs the aggregates might do.

    I tell everyone to print every 90 days, belt and suspenders as it were...
     
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  6. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I'm shocked that you can't buy bogus CPAP usage data files on the dark web.
     
  7. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Or create your own with a sample file and a few hours.
     
  8. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    please tell me the above is satire and completely in jest. Remember that posting on the internet is forever ...

    disclaimer - NO ONE WOULD DO THE ABOVE ... right?

    Best solution to the CPAP problem for me (which wasn't a problem, just an irritation) was Basic MED.
     
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  9. kontiki

    kontiki Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Just to share what I learned; I have a Philips Dream Station.

    There is an iPad application that lets me bluetooth connect to the machine and generate up to 90 day .pdf reports. Unfortunately, the machine only has about 6 months of data stored in it.

    There is also a PC application and support website that will let me read what's on the SD card and generate from that data too. The data on the SD card, does not go back further than initial installation date (a month ago).

    All in all, when I send the FAA my data in early in 2020, I may be short a months worth of data. Maybe I'll have to pass on flying for a month to generate sleep data?

    Now that I see how it works, I will just set up a computer nag that reminds me to blue tooth in and generate a backup report every 2 months. Nothing ever gets any easier. If I went with Basic Med, I'd still have to send data every year.
     
  10. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From what I understand, if you can go basic med, you will not have to send data in to the FAA. Everything is done through your primary care doctor. Although he may want to see you are compliant in the use of the CPAP.
     
  11. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    You are correct. No more CPAP reports to FAA as you are no longer maintaining OSA SI.
     
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  12. flyingron

    flyingron Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The CPAP reports on the SI is one of the dumbest and most counterproductive policies I've seen. I know of a few pilots who won't go in for a sleep apnea consult lest they get the diagnosis and some commercial pilots who use CPAP but don't report it (I just sleep with a fan blowing on my face).
     
  13. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A famous guy once said: "Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar...."

    I believe the citation is Matthew 22.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  14. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Nothing like waking up after 5 hours of sleep and laying there just waiting for another hour to pass so you can get your 6th hour in for compliance. :confused:
     
  15. kontiki

    kontiki Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flying is only a hobby for me. I've been using a CPAP since 1999. Life was hell for me before I was diagnosed. No fuzz on it! The whole GA pilot SI thing started for me in 2012. Collecting nightly data for the FAA has made me acutely aware of how much I sleep every night. I look at the CPAP number first thing every morning.

    In my regular job, I'm an avionics engineer on swing shift. It's not unusual for me to have to cover an occasional midnight shift, which does really tear me up. I'm not a spring chicken either. I truly believe going to work with "good brain" is key to my effectiveness on the job. I'm literally confined to a cloth box for 10 hour shifts, paid to think and contribute solutions, sometimes while a jet sits someplace on delay.

    If I'm not rested, it's just 10 hours of marking time hoping nothing too complicated crops up. With regular exercise (3 one mile swims a week), getting to sleep is usually not a problem. As a result of it all, I now try for at least 7-8 hours of good sleep prior to a work shift. If I wake up early and haven't had 7, I'll just relax and go back for another hour. I get what your saying. I'm just making the most of it. I really do believe a large segments of the population are sleep deprived, even without APNEA. I know everything goes better for me when I'm well rested.
     
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  16. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    I use my machine almost every night unless I have a cold or something then I just can't so I prop the pillows up. Most nights I get between 7-8 hours but there are plenty of nights I wake up after 4 or 5 and for me there is just no falling back to sleep just the way my body/brain works. My wife is the opposite she can fall back to sleep after anything. I am also the type that it doesn't matter what time I go to bed I am up at the same time. So even if I get to bed late I am up at the same time. Laying there with that thing on your face for an hour or more just waiting for time to pass is just dumb for what is for me also a hobby.
     
  17. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What I wonder about is if you go basic med, and then your doctor retires or you move and can not find a doctor to sign off on basic med, will the FAA require a new OSA test, or maintenance of Wakefulness Test to verify the success of the CPAP in order to get your SI back? The MWT is a pita of a test from what I have been told. Imagine sitting in a dimly lit room doing nothing for 8 hours. No TV, no book, no iPad, nothing. Oh...don’t fall asleep or you fail.
     
  18. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I can think of reasons to go back to a 3rd class after being on Basic Med (e.g. being diagnosed with one of the Big 4, or wanting to fly to a country that doesn't recognize Basic Med), but my doctor retiring isn't one of them, nor is moving and having difficulty finding a doctor. The Basic Med exam is every 4 years. One should always be able to plan ahead, get that last exam in before he retires, or before you move. And if I had OSA, there's no way I would go back to 3rd class unless I had to. From everything I've read on here, including this post, the FAA CPAP compliance documentation requirements are rather onerous.
     
  19. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I'd go basic med to avoid the minor hassle of the SI, but I have dreams of flying the WA to AK route. Here's hoping we get them to recognize basic med soon so I can just forget it.

    PS< I am 100% compliant on CPAP, though I had a tough start to it.
     
  20. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I guess the issue is, would the new doctor require more than a couple of years of being your primary care physician prior to signing off on basic med. I recognize there are doctors who will see you once and sign off, but I suspect they are few and far between. I suspect most doctors would want some kind of history with the patient before they would sign off, especially with a history of OSA.
     
  21. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    I'm thinking that in the event of switching your PCP, CPAP history logs are really a non-interest item for them. They're going to be more concerned with your general health and history, as well as your (and their) assessment of the efficacy of CPAP on your overall quality of life. It's the FAA that wants the 6 hrs of nightly usage, regardless of what your individual sleep needs are.

    As an aside, my CPAP compliance is mandatory for quality of life, in my opinion. I've had a couple of power outages and a few other reasons why I've struggled through a night without my hose and it was miserable ... brutal, actually. Knowing what was coming made sleep hard to come by, and waking up because of the apneas, gasping for breath made for a long, tortured night.
     
  22. kontiki

    kontiki Cleared for Takeoff

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    Been there, done that. It finally occurred to be to pickup a rechargeable battery backup for my CPAP. I now have two backup batteries. I keep them topped off. If the power quits, as it does in thunderstorm season, I can just connect to my backup battery and go back to sleep. Just a heads up though. The CPAP I have is finicky. I tried using a correctly rated battery alone as a substitute for the AC/DC power converter. It did not work! What I later found out, was that the unit requires some kind of electrically coded power cord that's packaged with the CPAP manufacturers proprietary battery backup system. That cord works with both of the batteries I purchased though.
     
  23. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    My CPAP has a DC cord (12VDC in, 24VDC out) that I have in the RV, parked just outside the house. However, poor planning on my part, as it and the batteries reside out there. I need to get another battery pack in the house and bring that cord inside for just those occasions.
     
  24. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    It took me around 5 minutes of googling and 2 minutes in a hex editor to figure out the data format. It's not encrypted in any way.

    Doing fake files would be super easy. And highly not recommended.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  25. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    This an interesting thread. I can sleep without a CPAP but my wife won’t be able to sleep with my gasping. I have a spare UPS so I can put it on battery backup in case ver we have one of our rare power outages.

    Before CPAP, I never felt sharp, even with lots of sleep. With CPAP I feel sharp even if I’m short of sleep. I’m barely over the lower threshold so maybe I can redo the test and not need it. I’d still use it as it improves my life’s quality.
     
  26. kontiki

    kontiki Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just to follow up on what I learned. It's now 4 months later, I paid the folks at my local sleep center a visit for my annual pre AME checkup.

    Apparently, the CPAP I use (an A-Flex, Phillips Dream Station) stores a lot more data that I suspected. The failure of the memory card did not impair the medical technician's ability to down load a full years worth of data. In fact she insinuated there might be more in there.

    I do now Bluetooth connect to the device with an iPad app and use it to generate backup 90 day .pdf reports.

    I suspect that and the memory card is really a limited backup for a very large internal memory. I forgot to ask how they connect to the unit at the sleep center. I only brought the power cord with me and they got everything, including data that could not have been on the replacement smart card.
     
  27. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    With my resmed when I was pulling reports prior to going basic med I pulled the data every week i or so just to be sure I had it to do the report. As I understand it the machine stores basic data internally (probably enough to produce a compliance report) but the card holds much more detailed information. Now I just hit the info button in the morning and see how I did for the night.
     
  28. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, internally you’ll be able to get the compliance info. The card will store the details of each individual breath.