(10-01-2012, 09:12 AM)genes Wrote: Sleepster
Call it and me what you want. I understand that you are posting to be helpful. The fact is many people do use tape to eliminate mouth breathing or leaking with a nasal mask. A chin strap does not always do the job and sometimes there can be problems with full face masks. I will admit that when I first heard about taping I had similar concerns but after reading posts on another board from many cpap users who were taping I decided to give it a try. It worked for me like it has for many others but I am not a doctor and each person should consider his own situation and seek advice where he sees fit. My guess is that most doctors will not tell someone to tape. My first cpap doctor and therapist did not tell me when I started cpap that I shouldn't breath thru my mouth while using a nasal mask. They did not think it was a problem. My current doctor listens to me and has an open mind. I have not heard of a case where anyone has had a medical problem or died from taping but if you know of a case I would appreciate knowing.
Let's assume someone does suffocate because they taped their mouth with a nasal mask and their CPAP machine quit blowing.
Presumably an ambulance gets called. If whoever found the body doesn't do it first, the EMTs will probably rip off the mask and the tape. The EMTs will confirm the person is dead, and the coroner will be called.
The coroner is a public official. In some places, they are elected officials and may not even be a doctor.
The coroner is mainly going to look for foul play or some sort of public health risk. Apart from that, he's probably going to be looking to fill in his paperwork in the easiest way possible. Most likely, he's simply going to see the breathing equipment and think it was someone on the edge of death who died quietly in his sleep.
Autopsies or any investigation of the cause of death is rare unless there's a suspicion of foul play. The quality of autopsies or investigations in the US is really dismal.
If he knows the power went out or the machine broke, the easy thing to do is assume the guy died from complications related to apnea. "He musta been pretty sick, Bubba, since he needed that thar breathin machine."
Now assume he does know enough about apnea to understand the risk of taping. That's a big leap because even normal MDs have very poor knowledge of CPAP. What do you expect him to do? He's probably not going to get his name in medical journals for this. Nobody recommends taping, so highlighting one case where a CPAP patient did something "dumb" and died isn't going to get much interest.
How would the coroner determine taping was the cause if he did suspect it? Is suffocation due to rebreathing stale air going to look different from a death due to severe apnea?
If he does decide in the back of his mind that the guy did kill himself accidentally, is he going to write that as his conclusion and tell the guys grieving family, "Your idiot husband killed himself with that tape?" He's a politician. He's not going to step into that hornets' nest unless he has to. Easiest to just say natural causes.
I'm not saying you're an idiot to tape. Just realize there IS some risk. I might do it myself if I couldn't fix my leaks any other way. I'd try everything else first and would do it as carefully as possible.
For those who say "show me a dead body," I'm sure there are plenty of tapers who died in their sleep with no obvious cause. Unless you can show me statistics where these were investigated and shown NOT to be related to taping, the onus is upon you to say it's safe, not upon me to show it isn't.