Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Alert

While CPAP machines effectively deliver oxygen to sleep apnea sufferers, a common problem among these patients is that they tend to remove the face masks during their sleep, thus putting them at risk for impeding the flow oxygen and abnormal breathing. In the students’ initial research, they learned that 38,000 people in the United States die from sleep apnea annually due to improper use of the machine. The CPAP alert uses a differential temperature system attached to a CPAP machine: One thermister monitors body temperature, while another records the room temperature. If a patient removes the CPAP mask while sleeping, an alarm will sound due to a decrease in temperature from the mask thermister, which will have ceased recording body temperature. The CPAP alert was designed to help a team member’s father who was being treated for sleep apnea.