It is not so much the dangers of CPAP as a reason for the Rx as a) the ignorance of the public so they would buy it for nothing, or a buy a pig in a poke as you Yanks would say, and b) the costs. In and of itself, CPAP isn't all that dangerous, and that is not the reason for the Rx, although misuse, too low or too high a pressure could be dangerous in the long term (we normally don't have patients with settings so wrong over a long term that we can see if there is a long term effect, so that is us being cautious), and if you don't have apnoea at a clinical level, it won't help you at all.
Without the Rx, you would have to pay on your own tod, with it, your insurance pays. For a device that costs 4k, that isn't the worst idea in the world, so it is consumer protection and that alone should be enough for you.
Medical devices above a certain class are all controlled devices, by law in pretty much every country, and it makes sense for any variety of reasons, not least being this isn't quackery you are talking about. And yes, accidents do happen and mistreatments happen in the med profession, and I am sorry you have had a greater share than most of that. Statistically, it is estimated that every doctor will kill one patient during their career from training to retirement due to error or not catching the problem at all. we are aware of it, and train like the dickens so it doesn't happen, and it is our constant nightmare, believe me. No procedure is taken lightly or as routine, every surgical procedure is weighed in the balance of risk vs. benefit exactly because accidents do happen and there is no telling how a body will react to the attack that a surgical procedure is to a body. No doubt it was decided for you that the ablation was necessary (you had tachycardia or some other misfire in the heart, I assume?). Drug interaction is still a real problem in prescription systems, which is why we here suggest for patients to always use the same pharmacy, where the prescriptions of the patient are on record and the pharmacists by second nature check for interactions and question the patients before giving the drug over, no matter what we prescribe.
I am not sure where you get your statistic, I would consider it rubbish, especially in the US where gun deaths indicate that your country is in the midst of a hot war.
I prefer for patients to start with a home test for apnoea, because they are sleeping in their own environment, and then graduate to a lab test if necessary, but the home gear is expensive and not enough of it is available for practical purposes. I have been lobbying the hospital to buy more of them and make the testing that way more routine, and hopefully it will be effective, but we DO see if you are sleeping or not on the read-outs, and from that we can make some assumptions, mostly that you would need to be tested in a different way if you aren't actually getting any sleep at all during the test, or be tested again to see if yo have town bad nights in a row. In the US it may not be as helpful, since your system is, well, crap, compared to ours, so it maybe less likely that further testing will be done due to insurance or expense, where we would give the patient the option of finding another way. BTW, if you don't sleep properly in a home test, it indicates a lot of problems besides apnoea, and you WOULD need to come into the lab to be tested with an EEG to see if it isn't from something else.
There are dangers to using a CPA machine improperly over a long term, and the dangers are the same as not using a machine at all if you have apnoea - early death due to complications from lack of proper sleep, with the added danger that improperly adjusted CPAP devices could increase poor sleep quality rather than combat it. These are long term dangers, and not immediate hazards and cannot be so easily assessed, but, no, it won't blow your lungs out or some such thing, and that is not the reason they are under Rx, nor was it ever the reason.
BTW, it isn't the medical profession that puts these things under Rx, in fact we have no control at all over it, so stop blaming us for it - the federal government in each country decides what should be and what isn't a controlled device, the FDA in the US, I think, and sometimes it seems a bit arbitrary. For instance, here you can buy aspirin in doses up to 500 mg over the counter, but can't buy cardio aspirin (100 mg) without a prescription. I think it is dumb, but the government body that determines this decided that the cardio aspirin is to treat a specific condition, and is for long term use with a risk of internal bleeding, not short term use to treat a headache or fever, and so the risk must be assessed first by a doctor rather than left up to a patient to self medicate. In one or two respects they are not wrong, not least because it does interact with other meds and that then keeps it under control, but I also sort of question it, since I agree with the Yanks on this one - the benefit outweighs the risk in terms of long term reduction of cardiac disease, but nonetheless, whatever I think, I cannot buy it over the counter here, and my GP won't prescribe it for me (I just nip over the border to Germany and buy mine there
)- but I AM a doctor and I do know the risks I am taking, and take no other meds that would interact with it, and when I must take something, I leave off the aspirin - how many lay people would know to do that? Not many, I can assure you, and I see people in my practice daily because they choose to self medicate and get sick(er) because of it. I doubt the Swiss are less educated or just dumber than the average American (if one watched Fox News, one would suspect the opposite in fact), but if misuse of non-prescriptive drugs is one of the drags on the health care system here, and we have only 8.5 million people to deal with, imagine what it must be like in the US with its 300-odd million people. So, yeah, if the Gummint decides to restrict something and put it under Rx, it may not make sense to me, but generally there are good reasons behind it, even if I find it inconvenient of dumb.