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What to Do With a Used CPAP Machine

Community Views: What to Do With a Used CPAP Machine

After 5 years of using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, insurance will typically replace your device. Having a device that works well is vital for your health. Replacing when it is time can prevent an older device from failing. You never want to be without your treatment, if possible.

Repurposing your old CPAP machine

So, what becomes of the old device? We received questions from the community about repurposing old CPAP devices. To gain a broader perspective, we asked the Facebook community, “What have you done with your old CPAP machine?”

Community Poll

What did you do with your old CPAP machine?

Keep a spare

Having a backup device can come in handy! If your current device breaks, you can continue your treatment. Replacements can take time to arrive.

Using the spare for travel and leaving the newer device at home is an option. Keep it packed and ready to:
Throw in the car
Take on an airplane
Keep in a camper

One of you shared using it as an air pump!

“Boxed up in the garage.”

“It sits in my closet just in case the new one quits.”

“Travel use.”

“Still have it!”

“Using my old one due to the recall and toxic foam. Still waiting for a replacement. It’s been almost a year.”

“When I do get a new one, I plan to keep the old one packed and ready to take on trips.”

“It fills up my floats and air mattress a lot faster than my lungs do! Bonus, I don’t almost pass out!”

Donate it

Many people diagnosed with sleep apnea cannot afford a CPAP. One way to help those needing one is to donate your old device. Look for an organization specific to:
Sleep apnea
Lung problems
Breathing issues

Organizations that accept used CPAP machines may have restrictions on what they take. These can include the age of the device or being from a pet-free, smoke-free home.

Organizations not licensed for prescription medical equipment (like Goodwill) destroy CPAP devices. They cannot legally resell them. Giving it directly to someone you know who needs one and has a prescription is another good option.1-3

“Donate them to a clinic or charity that will clean them up and give them to people who cannot afford them.”

“I gave it to my sister, who lost hers while moving.”

“Donated it back to the doctor’s office where it went to someone who didn’t have insurance coverage for CPAP.”

"We donated. The supplier told us they would give it to someone who could use one.”

Still using your original

Several of you need a new one but cannot afford one. The out-of-pocket cost can be high, even with insurance coverage. It is not always affordable to replace the device when recommended. Others of you are in line for a new one. The recall and supply chain delays cause the wait to stretch on.

“Still using it. Waiting on Veterans Affairs to get a new one.”

“I’m still using it because I can’t get a new one. I’m in line, but no idea when.”

“Still limping mine along. I can’t afford a new one right now.”

Selling a used CPAP

Selling your old CPAP is not recommended. A CPAP requires a prescription, so you must ensure the buyer has one. Certain online shops, like eBay, require that you have approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell a used medical device. Selling a device on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is not legal (though some people do it).1-3

Thank you

We appreciate everyone who joined the Facebook discussion! It is a joy to share ideas and learn from one another.

Note: The information in this article applies to the CPAP device itself. Masks, hoses, and headgear are different. These items should not be passed along unless they are brand new.1-3

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Community Poll

Do you use your CPAP while taking naps?