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Dangers of Using a CPAP Machine
I understand why a prescription is needed to purchase a CPAP machine. What I don't understand is why I can't go out and buy a spare mask, or a different mask, without one.

When I had my titration study done, I tried all of two masks; one nasal and one full face. Given the difficulty I had sleeping at all during the sleep studies, I'm not sure that the nasal mask, or a different style wouldn't have worked.

I can't test this because a new mask requires a prescription. Going through my insurance/DME means I'm dealing with the insurance company's policies and paying the DME markup, even after I get my insurance adjusted price.

All I want to do is to be able to either buy a backup mask, just in case, or try a different style. Of course, I would pay for this myself.

I don't plan to try to kill myself with CPAP; I just want to have the best experience possible with the least hassle.

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mdh235, some of the suppliers in the supplier list offer mask return policies. You don't need to involve insurance if you don't want to.
(08-23-2013, 01:03 PM)Paptillian Wrote: mdh235, some of the suppliers in the supplier list offer mask return policies. You don't need to involve insurance if you don't want to.

That's true. Not everyone is aware of this, but with recent changes in U.S. regulations, (the way it's currently written) seems to make distributing CPAP masks and hoses without a prescription illegal.. Wasn't that way in the past. Even today, there are some online DMEs who never ask for the prescription-- technically, they seem to be violating the law... but I don't think that the regulatory agencies are actively prosecuting them. Most online DMEs these days are requiring prescription just to cover themselves legally.

I think it's a stupid law... even if I was convinced that prescriptions for CPAP were absolutely necessary (and I'm not yet convinced of that)... I still think it's really stupid to require a prescription for a mask, hose or humidifier. What damage can be done by those items?.... er... wait... yeah, I suppose some lawyer can come up with a lawsuit claiming that someone got strangled by CPAP hose or something... Oh-jeez

Still waiting to hear of an instance where someone died and the coroner listed the cause of death as "CPAP abuse". Thinking-about

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(08-23-2013, 08:35 AM)DocWils Wrote: There is a further reason for the Rx. It is to protect you from cheap knock offs,

Unfortunately, it's not working. The manufacturers are still selling dataless bricks to many patients, and there are too many ignorant doctors who don't know better.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
(08-23-2013, 04:24 PM)archangle Wrote:
(08-23-2013, 08:35 AM)DocWils Wrote: There is a further reason for the Rx. It is to protect you from cheap knock offs,

Unfortunately, it's not working. The manufacturers are still selling dataless bricks to many patients, and there are too many ignorant doctors who don't know better.

Not to mention the Chinese knock-off CPAP machines that Resmed is currently fighting:


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Now please understand I have severe apnea and am an extreme case... I have been running my cpap prescribed at 17-20 for over tenyears. . There are issues with running that high most are mask and pillow related (they simply aren't designed to work at that pressure) but as someone who has had to go that high ( and no bipap doesn't work for me) if you are running at a high pressure get checked out as often as possible. I haven't had a night sleep without my machine since I picked it up it is my original machine it does get checked and cleaned regularly. The thing with sleep apnea that most people forget. Is how it affects the rest of your body. Having sleep studies is a good start but you need to get a physical done as well. And keep getting them as often as you can afford. I have had 3sleep studies and probably 10 physicals I know my heart is bad and not getting better but its not getting worse yet. But as I need that pressure I have had no ill effects. I will say if you turn your machine up past what your mask can take it will make your machine useless as when you need the pressure most it won't be there
I am new to CPAP. I have had type 1 diabetes for 35 years. I adjust my insulin my self and have very good control of my blood sugars. I think no one knows your body as well as yourself. I plan to educate myself on CPAP and think I can regulate my theropy best myself since the results I am looking for is to feel better. For now I will follow my doctors directions and learn all I can about how to sleep better.
I am more concerned about the danger of not using CPAP/BIPAP/ASV if diagnosed with apnea.

I came across this thread because I am scheduled to get a CPAP machine in a few days and I wanted to see if there were any risks.

I see that all of the discussion has been over too much pressure. I hadn't even considered that to be a danger. I was concerned more with being suffocated by having the mask on and the machine going off or malfunctioning. Is that a possibility or is there some fail-safe design feature that would allow you to breathe with the mask on and the machine off?

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Over the several years that I have been involved with sleep apnea, forums, etc., I have yet to hear of one single case of ANY ill effects arising from the use of a CPAP/XPAP machine operating under normal conditions. I have never heard of any XPAP machines "taking off" on their own and pushing more than, say, 20 cmH2O pressure. I would have to say that the Rx issue is one of control as most XPAP users are totally ignorant of what their blower does and how to deal with it and cannot be bothered. Hence, you are going to have to be supervised like a 4 year old. I find it very curious that I was able to produce better results than the sleep docs for myself, my wife, etc., after simply participating in the forums and reading the clinician manuals and materials online. For instance... sleep doc end result until we get to see him in another 4.5 years AHI=85+. MY results after looking at one week of data from XPAP and pulse oximeter and adjusting things accordingly? AHI=<5 and still working on it. My AHI runs <1. Sleep doc scratches his head. So.. I have no idea as to why an Rx is required and I have never heard of anyone being injured by XPAP except I once had mine fall on my toe and my toenail turned slightly purple. Just my two cents worth FWIW. Oh, and IMHO? The adverse effects of NOT using XPAP when it is indicated is far, far, far worse and far more prevalent. Of this I am sure and can produce a list.
Educate, Advocate, Contemplate.
Herein lies personal opinion, no professional advice, which ALL are well advised to seek.

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