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[Equipment] Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
Hi, brand new forum user here. Thanks for your help.

Before CPAP: I had suffered tiredness/exhaustion every day for years, I just put this down to being middle-aged, very overweight and over-worked. Also for over a year I had lots of problems with my eyes, mostly constant discharge which I had to wipe away every 15-30 minutes and often blurred vision, which would affect my ability to work [on my computer]. After going through layers of opticians, optometrists, etc. I paid to see one of the top eye specialists in the UK. Within about 60 seconds, and without using any medical equipment whatsoever, he said "You've got sleep apnoea. Go and get a sleep test done, get treatment and you eye problems will clear-up."

So, after the customary multi-month wait, I undertook a sleep test with the NHS here in the UK. Whilst waiting for the results of the test (6+ weeks), I came to Thailand (I have family links in Thailand) and was super frustrated at how exhausted I was, and my constant eye discharge become even more unbearable, so I called home to the NHS and pleaded with them to chase-up my results. Over the phone, it was confirmed that I had been diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea and I was on a waiting list for a CPAP machine. As I was due to be in Thailand for more than a month, I thought I'd try my luck in renting a CPAP machine to see whether it might make a difference...

... I rented a Philips Dreamstation (v1) with Philips Wisp nasal mask from a medical services company in Bangkok and started on Auto CPAP. Within 3 days I was fixed: no more struggle to get out of bed in the morning (it used to take me 1-2 hours to get up) and managed to stay alert pretty much all day. My eye discharge stopped, to the point where I could now sleep without an eye mask. My wife confirmed that since starting CPAP, I don't snore at all and I don't even move around in my sleep (previously I was a very loud snorer and apparently moved around a lot at night). I lost about 4kg in Thailand (also did a fair amount of walking). The Thailand staff talked me through setting the pressure to 8. After a month, I have the rented machine back and awaited my return to the UK to continue my therapy.

Back in the UK and due to the global Philips Recall, the NHS [in my area at least] were now issuing Sefam S.Box units. The staff were great in that, they agreed to let my try/keep multiple masks (including the Philips Wisp) and also a humidifier unit (which wasn't initially offered; I'm guessing that the cost extra money). Initially the Sefam S.Box was set to Auto-CPAP mode, and then the NHS staff remotely set the pressure to 12. We've also tried pressures 8 and 9. I have put back on about 3kg of the 4kg that I lost (so I know that weight loss must also be a focus -- but I'm too tired to exercise!!)

I was disappointed to have an almost completely different/inferior experience:

1) I was waking up much earlier than expected, like 2-4am, and having to hit the 'ramp' button on the machine as the pressure seemed too great (and I suspect the pressure was waking me up). This happens much less often now, which indeeds suggests that pressure 12 was too high for me.

2) I experienced *extremely* dry mouth, which again was waking me up too early. I would have to quickly drink about 2 pints of water before I was comfortable again. After a month, it's not so bad, but still very dry (but no longer waking me up).

3) I really don't feel energised in the mornings now, certainly nothing like I did in Thailand on the Philips machines -- and so I'm trying to discover whether there is a marked difference between brands/machines or whether I'm just happier (which would make me more energised) in Thailand, than compared to the UK? (To clarify, I was doing the same computer/telephone work both in Thailand and the UK, so it's not a "am I happier on holiday?" question, because I already know the answer to that one!)

I've offered to go and buy an alternative CPAP machine (perhaps a Philips Dreamstation 2 or maybe even try a ResMed model) to see if there is a difference between that and my NHS Sefam S.Box, but the staff at the NHS staff reassure me/insist that there is no difference between the 'algorithms' that different brands of machines use -- they all have to use to same algorithm to pass UK medical legislations/clinical guidelines) and so they are all essentially the same, and would not explain the difference in my experiences.

I'd love to hear from anyone that has experience of using multiple CPAP machines to see if "they are all the same" as I've been advised, or whether there is a possibility that one brand suits me better than another?

In particular, if anyone has any direct experience of using both the Philips Dreamstation 1 and Sefam S.Box, then I'd love to hear your thoughts?

Thanks for taking the time to answer.
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RE: Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
There are significant difference between machines, and you can read the CPAP reviews on this forum to get opinions on the different machines It is worth reading different therapy threads on the forum to see what problems are being experienced by users of different machines. By far, Resmed machines get the best reviews and lowest AHI because they use an algorithym called EPR (exhale pressure reduction) which acts identically to bilevel to change the pressure by up to 3-cm H2O between inhale and exhale, and also an Easybreathe™ algorithm to shape the pressure changes to mirror respiration. The Philips machines use different "flex" algorithms, but they tend to be predictive of inhale and exhale rather than following the patient's spontaneous effort, and this can cause some sync problems. In Auto CPAP mode the Philips machines are much slower to respond. We never saw the Sefam S Box machine until recently on this forum. The feedback is mixed but tends to be negative. You can enter the search term "Sefam S Box Site:apneaboard.com" and find some results.

Here is a link to a member's personal study of 6 different CPAP machines https://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread...rification
This NCBI study shows a quantitative comparison of different CPAP machines. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27730142/
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RE: Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
Thanks very much for your response. I will spend some time reading the reviews and other articles you suggest.
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RE: Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
The DS1 treats OSA better than the Resmed machines, don't give up on it.
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RE: Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
(07-25-2023, 12:34 AM)Phaleronic Wrote: The DS1 treats OSA better than the Resmed machines, don't give up on it.

Thanks for your response. I'm currently using a Sefam S.box, with which I'm disappointed. The Philips Dreamstation 1 was only a 1 month rental (and it worked great). I've never tried a ResMed CPAP machine, but given the current Philips recall, I think I've a choice to make between either sticking with the Sefam S.Box (free, on UK NHS) or buying a Philips Dreamstation 2 or a ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet (or 11, although many people appear to prefer the 10 from my own research last night).
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RE: Philips Dreamstation 1 vs Sefam S.Box (S Box, SBox)
I bought a used Resmed Airsense 10 online for £120, but then had to buy a new fan/turbine for another £100 - which I fitted myself. I use this machine as a spare, and also to enable me to use OSCAR and get an idea of how to optimise my pressures. With the new motor, I found the Airsense to be quieter than the Sefam, but also a bit more 'aggresive' in increasing pressures.

I also like the fact that the Sefam has bluetooth and/or usb for downloading data - so, no messing about with the SD card, and forgetting to replace it. I also like th fact I can read the display in the dark, and without my glassess. The Sefam Software is available here on the board - but is not too user friendly - Much trickier to use than OSCAR!

I just had my first review with the NHS after 4 months using the SEFAM. If they downloaded data from the machine, they didn't appear to look at it. But maybe a doctor will review it later? For my next review, in 6 months, they will phone me and ask me to read to the them AHI, 90% pressure and user hours. indicated on the machines display. In other words, I beleive iif I had not chosen to educate myself, and acquire software, I could have just been on Auto 5 - 20 cM pressure from here to eternity!

They seem to rely mostly on checking your level of daytime sleepiness via the Epworth Sleepiness Scale... Perhaps. if one persisted, they would agree to you being seen by a specialist or technician?

The NHS do seem to be great in supplying new masks and, when getting home and finding my airfilter and its cover had fallen off - I left a phone message and they got back the next day to say a new filter and cover were in the mail to me. Staff at Royal Papworth Hospital always seem to be unfailingly pleasant and helpfull, which is wonderful!
" The hose knows! " 
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