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Friend in need in Cuba
#1
I just returned from a visit to Cuba. I discovered that a friend of mine who lives on the eastern end of the island has sleep apnea. His wife is a nurse, and she tells me that he quits breathing all the time in his sleep and it worried them both. There is no such thing as a sleep lab in Cuba, nor are Cpap machines available, as far as I know. At least he has never heard of such a thing. They are lucky if they can get the occasional bottle of tylenol. He wakes up a lot with headaches and is often fatigued during the day.

Anyway, I have a spare CPAP machine that I don;t use (I was prescribed a newer BiPap machine). Do I dare give it to him and let him find his own levels? What advice would you give me for him?

Secondly, I would have a to find a face mask for him. He is a mouth breather.

Where cn I find masks at a good price in Toronto, Canada? And can one just buy a mask, sight unseen, and hope it fits his face and can he make it work?

Any advice for this situation?
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#2
Your question is more of a legal question by nature. Although the US now has diplomatic relations with Cuba, you need legal advice on transferring a CPAP to Cuba.
Cuba has an embassy in Toronto -- you could ask them.
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#3
Lets assume it is legal. My question stands. Would you give someone who hasnt a prescription but who suffers from Apnea a machine and advise him how to use it to the best of your knowledge if he has no access to a sleep lab or specialist??
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#4
Maybe a better question:
Might there be a way to arrange for a Cuban physician to consult with a sleep disorders physician?

If the entire country is lacking trained docs, maybe the solution is to get some training over there.

... I suspect, however, I would have inadvertently left my cpap there by mistake ...
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Please organize your SleeyHead screenshots like this.
I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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#5
Do they have internet and computers?

Can they understand Sleepyhead?

The wife is a nurse... surely they can figure it out.
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#6
We've seen many people on this board who are managing their own therapy without involving a specialist. As Player said - if the wife is a nurse and they have access to the web, then they should be able to figure it out.

DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#7
An auto unit would be way better...
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#8
Thanks for the responses.
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#9
Yes, an autoPAP would be better for someone in his situation. SleepyHead is a must so he can watch the data.

As for mask, ouch, that's going to be the hard one. The best bet, due to fit and the like, would be nasal pillows and a chin strap. Full face masks tend to be hard to match up and he may need to go through several before he finds the one that fits his face. Whereas nasal pillows usually comes with several different size pillows in the package. The other alternative would be the Simplus. You use the same frame and insert different size cushions.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#10
The country is not lacking in trained doctors. In fact it has an excellent medical and educational system. I can't find exact stats but at 99.7%, I guess it surpasses that of the United States. It certainly beats the pants off of Canada.

The correct name in Spanish for CPAP is "presión positiva continua en la vía aérea". The condition is La Apnea del Sueño in Spanish. I rather doubt the Cuban medical system is unaware of this given how many medical research papers from Cuban doctors are found with a quick Google search. I suggest that your friend contact a medical centre in a larger city. I'd be surprised if treatment is not available free of charge. The machines will likely be Chinese or Russian, but pressure is pressure.
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