Urgent Need for Sleep Apnea Machines Requested by UCSF & UC Berkeley: Retool as Ventilators for COVID19 Patients

South San Francisco, CA   April 8, 2020

Thank you to our South City neighbor for sharing this important message because we know there are many who are eager to help with treatment for patients with COVID-19, who might also have a CPAP or BIPAP that is not in use.



Places like Italy, Spain and New York City experienced drastic shortages of ventilators during the fight against COVID19. During emergency situations, when there is no or limited access to available ventilators, sleep apnea machines can be converted to provide breathing support for some COVID patients. For example, one potential use case would be during the weaning process from full ventilation. For COVID19 patients weaning from a ventilator can take multiple days. Moving the patient to a converted sleep apnea BIPAP machine would free up a ventilator for COVID19 patients with more serious respiratory disease.


Sleep apnea machines are a non-invasive form of therapy for patients to receive breathing support (examples of the two most common ones are provided below). They are FDA approved ventilators. Currently, there are an estimated 8-10 million household sleep apnea machines across the U.S. Many of these devices are unused and have the potential to critically assist pulmonologists treating COVID-19 patients.

We are a group of engineers, medical doctors, and industry advisers working with faculty and students at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco to create a streamlined process to repurpose these devices for emergency use in local hospitals.




Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines deliver a steady, continuous stream of pressurized air to patients’ airways to prevent them from collapsing and causing apnea events.



A Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BIPAP) machine has two pressure settings for inhalation and exhalation. The dual settings allow patients to get more air in and out of their lungs.


The donation of your sleep apnea machine can help with the high need for breathing support.

First Let’s

Locate Machines
If you or someone you know has access to a sleep apnea machine anywhere in the U.S. that they no longer use, please notify us by filling in the form below.

Now let’s

Take Action
Please label your ventilator with which type it is (CPAP/BiPAP) as well as the product number (model number) and fill in the following registration form. We will contact you about pick up.


Please share this website with your community! We need as many ventilation machines as possible from across the country. Thank you!

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