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How frequently do you buy new mask/tube/etc?
#1
Good day!

I'm on a Bipap machine, for about 2 months now. It's going very well; at least, the software reports I've gone from about 360 events/hour to single digits most nights.

Here's my question: the equipment all came with advice on how often to replace the facemask, tube, etc. If I took them at their word, I'd be replacing very often (like next month!), but I'm very good about cleaning them, and they're all still working perfectly. Is there any good reason to replace them if they're still clean and operable?

Thank you!

Josh
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#2
Josh, replacement is based on your financial/ insurance situation and the functionality of the part. Hoses and humidifier chambers can last many years, mask headgear usually one-year, mask cushions 6-months, filters about 3 months. With good insurance I make sure I have backup parts in case of failure, but I don't hoard or resell parts. Get what you need to prevent excess mask leaks, or equipment failure. Take good care of things, and they will take good care of you. I respect your position. Regardless of insurance, we all pay for the excesses.
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#3
(11-01-2016, 04:55 PM)Josho Wrote: Here's my question: the equipment all came with advice on how often to replace the facemask, tube, etc. If I took them at their word, I'd be replacing very often (like next month!), but I'm very good about cleaning them, and they're all still working perfectly. Is there any good reason to replace them if they're still clean and operable?

Thank you!

Josh

As Sleeprider said, it does depend on your financial/insurance situation and the functionality of the part.

I change my filter every month because I am in a relatively dusty environment with pollen from open windows. I change my headgear (when it stretches to the point where I have mask leaks.) I change my cushions every three months as I like them tight and they lose effectiveness by becoming "mushy." I change my hose every six months -- but that is just me. I have also purchased an "end plate" for when I travel without the humidifier, a DC converter that lets me use a battery backup, and an extra SD card for when I want to give information to my doctor rather than risk of losing the one in the machine. (I have lost 2 SD cards to sloppy medical assistants).

I use Control III professional grade disinfectant to clean my machine, but soap and water will suffice.

Hope this helps -- best of luck maintaining your system.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#4
Hi Josho,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I get new supplies when I notice that they aren't working as well any more.
Good luck to you with your CPAP therapy, hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#5
I recommend having a backup mask, several backup cushions, backup hose, backup humidifier. When you are using the things you will have a better idea of how often you personally need replacement.

For instance, my P10 cushion lasts about a month. I can boil it and get another 3 weeks before it leaks again. On the other hand, my brother's F&P full face mask cushion lasts about 3 months before leaks increase. Boiling did not make any difference.

For most people, hoses seem to last a couple of years. Humidifer bins are DESIGNED to last 2 years - many people have never needed to replace their humidifier bin for the life of their machine, but I do recommend having a backup. If you ever drop your bin on the floor, chances are it has a mini crack. Use your backup while testing your dropped bin for seepage leaks.

The argument that some DMEs will make is that you need to replace your equipment for hygenic reasons. This is nonsense if you are using Dawn Dishwashing detergent to wash your equipment. Dawn is an industrial cleaner and quite effective. I always use Control III on cushions that do not come in the original Resmed packaging AND on equipment I get from others. Even a weekly cleaning is sufficient according to the PT at my local hospital although they prefer you clean your stuff every 4 days. Daily isn't necessary, according to them, unless there are other circumstances involved (dog drools on it, mask is on floor, toddler drools on it, dirty or very dusty conditions). Believe it or not, there are a lot of people, who eventually get hospitalized who don't clean their equipment - they just replace it according to the schedule that Medicare or their insurance pays for it. So instead of washing their pillows on a regular basis, they just pop in a new one every 2 weeks. I'm sure the DMEs love them.
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#6
Wow...fantastic advice, everyone. Thank you kindly!

I'll check to see what insurance will pay for, and base my purchases on the desire to have a good set of backup equipment. I understand that my equipment'll last as long as it lasts...no need to switch out as long as there are no leaks or other issues. And I guess it pays to be careful with them.
I wonder if men with bristly faces wear out their full face cushions before scrupulously clean-shaven do.
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#7
(11-02-2016, 04:46 PM)Josho Wrote: I wonder if men with bristly faces wear out their full face cushions before scrupulously clean-shaven do.

The only downside to facial hair is that it promotes leakage and in some cases additional facial oil on the mating surface. I am not aware of hair ever "wearing out" any component of a mask. Theoretically, hair would act as a mediating lubricant that would aid slippage unless the mask was completely tight.

"Machines and components don't complain about bristles, women do." Or not! Too-funnyToo-funny
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#8
Well, it do depend on all sorts of factors, and the insurance/Medicare schedules do not match-up to my experiences (some high, some low). I live in New York City in an apartment and the air carries a fair amount of "soot" in it, especially during winter heating seasons. My experience has been (ins. replacement time in parenthesis):
White disposable filter (2 per month): once a week, they are grey in a week, black if left for 2;
Foam Filter: (1 every 6 months) - based on the white ones, I use 2 every 6 months and wash & rotate them weekly - use one while the other is drying.
Mask cushion: (1 a month) - I use a ffm with some high pressures. once a month seems about right. Use cpap mask wipes daily, and Control III & wash every week. The cushion may seem to last longer, but the leak/ahi rate will start to creep and I can notice the cushion material starts to weaken.
Mask frame: (3 months) - for my mask this would last a year+, except the relief and flutter valve is built into the elbow which only comes with the mask frame. Also the plastic springy attachment from mask to headgear. The valve needs every 3, the plastic things 3-6 months. I Control III every week.
Headgear: (6 months) This I could use every 3 months, especially if I washed more often. I have resorted to wiping with the wipes and only hand washing every 2 weeks to make it last.
Hose: (3 months) I can get an easy 6+ months out of this if I don't squish it. Control III once a week. Be careful though of pinhole leaks.
Humidifier chamber: (6 months) - Well, probably could get a year out of it, but I use filtered tap water, not distilled. Control III and wash and carefully remove any buildups every week. So the 6 months is about right. Another factor here would be the seals around the chamber which might start leaking after 6 months. Don't know.
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#9
(11-02-2016, 04:46 PM)Josho Wrote: I wonder if men with bristly faces wear out their full face cushions before scrupulously clean-shaven do.

Naw, bro has a full face beard (unable to shave due to disability). The bigger problem is that unless you can use nasal pillows, you may be limited to about a dozen or fewer mask choices to keep the leaks down.
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