How do I Choose the Best Used CPAP?

Article Details
  • Written By: P.S. Jones
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 07 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a common method of respiratory ventilation. It is used to treat sleep apnea and other medical conditions where the patient is at risk for respiratory failure. Patients using a CPAP can take some time to get used to the machine, but by adjusting the settings and fit, the machine can be made more comfortable. These machines can also be expensive, so some patients reduce the cost by purchasing a used CPAP machine. When buying a used CPAP machine, a patient should be sure to choose a decontaminated, readjusted machine from a reputable dealer.

Anyone buying a CPAP machine should first understand the way the machine works. The science behind CPAPs involves air pressure. The CPAP blows a compressed air stream through a mask. Once the mask is in place, an airtight seal is created and the compressed air stops flowing. This creates a pressurized air space, preventing the patient’s airway from closing, and allowing him to sleep without fear of respiratory failure.

The first thing a patient should have before buying a used CPAP machine is a doctor’s approval. If a patient thinks that he may need a CPAP but has not seen a physician, he may be wrong about his diagnosis. A physician may be able to suggest more effective treatments for the patient’s condition. In some cases, the patient may not need a CPAP machine.


Next, the patient should be sure that the used CPAP machine has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. A CPAP mask is attached to the patient’s nasal or mouth areas as the patient breathes out into it. Much like an inhaler, there are bacteria and other contaminants present on the mask or in the tubing. There should also be a new filter put into place. If these steps are not taken, there is a possibility of cross-contamination from the old owner to the new.

Another concern with a used CPAP machine is the calibration. CPAPs are adjusted based on the air pressure prescription given by the doctor. Using the wrong prescription can cause major discomfort, and may even cause additional breathing problems. Less risky, but still uncomfortable, are the humidifier settings and adjusting the mask. If these things are not adjusted to accommodate the new owner, it can be a very uncomfortable to use a used CPAP machine.

A patient should consider the source of his CPAP machine. Although used CPAP machines are available on online auction sites like eBay, the machine is often coming from an unknown source. These sites make it hard to check the seller’s references. By purchasing a machine from a reputable dealer, the patient can be sure that it has been cleaned and serviced, and is in proper working order. Reputable dealers may also be able to provide future servicing options for the machine.



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