Using a Used CPAP Machine
We’re all seeking ways to save money, but when it comes to your health, remember there is a price to pay if you try to cut corners.
While buying a used machine may save you money upfront, there is a high cost to compromising your CPAP therapy’s quality and efficacy.
Here’s what to consider when choosing between purchasing a used or new CPAP machine.
Dangers of Using Someone Else’s CPAP Machine
When you buy a used CPAP machine, little is known of the previous user. You are unaware of their medical history and daily care regimens. Even a thorough cleaning and sanitizing after purchase cannot annihilate past contamination. CPAP machines can create a warm, sometimes moist environment, making them ideal breeding grounds for yeast, mold, bacteria, and mildew—especially if the previous owner did not properly care for the machine.
There is also a lot unknown about the previous owner’s lifestyle. For instance, did the owner have pets that could have come in contact with the equipment? Did they live in a part of the country that was too humid, high altitude, or closer to the desert that might affect the way the machine works?
Lastly, if you do not acquire a new machine, your device is not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. If the device fails to work properly, it could be a costly mistake!
Keep Sanitation a Priority
Every CPAP machine needs you to maintain a manufacturer-recommended strict cleaning and replacement regimen. Following these requirements is essential for the effective use and long-term maintenance of your device. Failure to adhere to the appropriate cleaning protocols can result in germs entering your CPAP machine and can lead to sinus and respiratory infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other illnesses from bacteria and viruses. With used CPAP machines where the history of cleaning is unclear, the risk of infection is significantly higher.
Should I Purchase a Used CPAP Machine?
The health risks of buying a used CPAP machine alone outweighs the savings.
However, keep in mind that the FDA considers CPAP machines Class II medical devices, which means that they cannot be sold or purchased without a medical prescription.
Avoid CPAP machines you find in garage sales or on Craigslist. Avoid online companies selling “gently used” CPAP machines. Also, do not take a used CPAP machine from a friend, even if it’s free.
Benefits of a New CPAP Machine Compared to a Used CPAP Machine
Besides having the peace of mind that a fresh, brand new CPAP machine is all yours and has never been used by another person, there are other benefits over buying a used CPAP machine.
- Your new machine should fit your exact CPAP prescription needs, while an old machine may not. Each machine you buy should be calibrated to fit your needs based on your physician’s recommendations.
- Newer machines work more efficiently and are designed to have fewer parts for a longer life cycle.
- You can more easily get replacement parts for new CPAP machines, compared to old out-of-date used machines.
- You receive a full warranty on a new machine. Old machines may have expired warranty protection. If your machine doesn’t work well after purchase, you will not be covered for any repair or replacement and will have to buy a new device anyway.
- New CPAP machines can last up to five years. A used machine may be nearing the end of its life by the time you purchase.
Resources and References: