It is a shame that there is not a section on this site, which would offer donated *PAP items to persons who are in genuine need of equipment and can't afford the cost due to their economic situation. I am sure that those persons wouldn't mind disinfecting the mask so they could have a good night's sleep and live a few years longer and enjoy life’s many pleasures.
I have seen numerous posts in recent months for just such persons.
I guess we all march to a different drummer. When I had my sleep studies done, the masks used on me were not new. There was a tower with plastic bins that had the different masks in them. When my titration study was done at the local hospital's satellite clinic the tech was washing the masks during one of my bathroom breaks. The had a little room off to the side of the tech's room where it was being done. I am sure they disinfected them.
I use utensils, glasses, plates, etc. when I go out to eat. You do not think anything about drinking out of a glass someone else has used prior to you (of course, it has been washed) or using that fork to eat with. To me there isn't any difference in that and using a cleaned mask.
It took many, many masks for me to find my perfect mask. I would have been in a world of hurt if I hadn't done some bidding on gently used masks on cpapauction.com or traded masks on another forum. I wash all the masks I received in very hot soapy water, rinsed thoroughly and let dry. Most germs can not live long without a live host and hot soapy water kills most germs. If you are a germophobic, you could use some Controll III.
SomniHealth just received its accreditation from The Joint Commission. We had an interesting discussion about the approriate use of Control III. Regular Control III does not kill TB. Control III Elite does. If you use Control III to clean masks for multipatient use, please be sure it is Control III Elite. I seriously doubt that someone selling a used mask on Craig's List follows the manufacturer's published guidelines for Multi-Patient Re-use of CPAP masks.
Many of us live in rural areas where options are limited. I know that my current insurance has only one local DME that I can use. Masks are very expensive, especially from DME's. In December I picked up a new mask and my insurance company was billed over $400 for that mask. The same mask sells online for 1/3 that cost. My insurance paid over $300 for that particular mask. The DME does not have a return mask policy. If you are unable to use it -- you are stuck so to speak.
So a person should have suboptimal treatment or give up on treatment because they can not afford a new sealed mask?
To me that is unacceptable!! Patients should not be penalized for having limited funds at their discretion when trying to find a mask that works for them.
If that is the case then how come silverware, plates, cups, glasses, etc. from restraurants are not sanitized above and beyond washing?
Well, SleepyCarol, we don't DARE use water as hot as the water used in those commerciall dishwashers at restaurants, hospitals, etc.
Just a few years ago I wouldn't have worried about TB, it was ALMOST irradicated in the USA - but w/all the illegal immigrants that don't go thru a thorough health exam as the legal immigrants do .... bed bugs are making a come back in the USA too. And from the same source.
Our contaminated food sources are most often due to illegal immigrants from poverty stricken countries w/poor to no sanitation who have never practiced sanitary practices. I used to work "green season" in a pickle factory every year. And we had LEGAL temporary immigrant workers - their sanitary practices left a LOT to be desired to put it mildly. At least the pickles were thoroughly "cooked" and jarred in HOT ovens 'cause I'd never be able to eat a pickle again if they weren't! I worked on the labeler just off the ovens.
So - buy Control III Elite instead of "just" Control III. And keep in mind I'm one whose momma always told her we had to eat a bushel of dirt before we die - and who "eats" a lotta dog and cat hair and even a few horse hairs from time to time I would guess. *wicked grin*
Big fan of Control III Elite here for sure. We have mandatory TB screens yearly and at some point, I was exposed to it as I had a positive PPD. As a tech, we don't always get complete medical histories on pts and the likelyhood of exposure to TB is pretty high. I don't care to remember all the times I've gone into a room during a titration and immediately smelled that funky breath. Who knows what's airbourne!
I am sympathetic to pts financial situations and their willingness to acquire proper equipment at less cost. My biggest prob with pts getting a mask online is the fitting. Experienced users pretty much know how to adjust their masks effectively provided it's the same mask they've always used. Mask fitting is absolutely critical, so I wouldn't recommend a pt getting a new style of mask without a professional fitting as it directly effects their therapy's efficacy. The mask plays a HUGE role in pt compliance.
You can check online at cpap.com. You can also try a google search. And then I would think for locally .... good question. Some kind of professinal cleaning business. Maybe your local medical supplier. Of course, you know the kind of markup they have ....