The world is a connected place.
Finding online groups to buy second-hand stuff is second nature by now, and why not? Save the environment and save a few bucks by giving something another life? Sign me up!
But while it can be a great idea to take someone’s “good intentions” exercise equipment off their hands, or pick up a pair of slightly used skates for your kid whose feet grew three sizes in as many months, getting into a second-hand CPAP can end up costing more money and costing your health in ways you don’t want.
If you don’t have insurance or some extra savings put away, the cost of a new CPAP can be off-putting, but there are still ways to do it without breaking the bank and without gambling with your health. Flea markets are great for vintage memorabilia, not so much for used medical equipment.
Because, well, EW.
That sounds silly but really – even if it looks clean on the outside, the inside of a CPAP machine is a warm, moist environment that’s an absolute playground for contaminants like mold, fungus, bacteria and viruses. Taking care of your machine and keeping it clean is easy enough, and you can learn more about it here. But how do you know the previous owner took care of their machine as well as you should?
Whatever contaminants a previous owner breathed out into the equipment could still be there, and in these days of COVID-19 it doesn’t seem like a smart chance to take. COVID-19 is new and our understanding of it is still evolving, but it’s far from the only issue. Whether it’s a from a buildup of oil, sweat and dead skin cells, or a more pathogenic agent, there can be many negative health impacts from an improperly maintained CPAP. They can be as mild as skin rashes or infections, or as severe as pneumonia or other serious lung infections like bronchitis or tuberculosis.
You get what you pay for
Kind of like a car, that runs into more problems the older it is and the more kilometres are on it, CPAP machines and accessories wear with time and use.
If you buy a used car through a reputable dealer, you’ll usually get some sort of guarantee that it will keep running at least for the first little while, but can you say the same for a CPAP you bought through a Facebook group or some other online garage sale?
While it’s tempting to save a few bucks up front, you might find that the machine quits on you a month after you bought it and you’ll have absolutely no recourse.
Not only will you have no way to know how many thousands of hours have been logged on the machine (for reference, it could easily be as many as 15,000 hours for a 5-year old CPAP) but you’ll also likely be missing out on newer comfort and tracking features that come with the most up-to-date equipment.
Service makes all the difference
In spite of the above concerns, really the biggest thing you’ll be missing out on if you buy something, you know, from your neighbour’s friend’s cousin, is service.
When you buy a CPAP from Apnea Health, you get the advantage of our CPAP Care for Life Program, which means you’ll get the support of a respiratory therapist for as long as you own your machine, access to sleep physicians, remote monitoring and follow-ups, free CPAP replacements while your machine is in for service and automatic progress updates to all of your healthcare providers.
A solid team in your corner makes all the difference for getting the most out of your CPAP treatment and getting the kind of sleep you deserve.
We’ll make sure your equipment fits properly and is set up to meet your needs – if you go it alone and the settings on your used machine are not right for you, you’ll likely make your sleep worse instead of better. One size definitely does not fit all, and we’re here to help you get it just right.