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Why Change Mask Liners?

Posted by Yatin J. Patel, MD MBA. Medical Director, Sneeze & Snooze Clinic, Goshen, Indiana. on

"Don't fix it if ain't broken!" A patient reluctantly shared with me when I asked him about CPAP supplies renewal. 

Supplies renewal recommendations from the manufacturers and DME companies appeared to me to be motivated by personal gain. Now, I have become more and more religious about advocating and even insisting that all my patients change them as recommended. 

To make my point, I will share the story of an Amish patient in his 50s. Using CPAP, he felt better, but not all the way. His pretreatment apnea hypopnea index was 43/hr. On his CPAP compliance report, it was 13.5/hr, which is abnormal. We like it less than 5/hr and preferably close to 0/hr!

Why was he having residual apnea? At least, in part it was the air leak from not changing his mask liner! Take a look at the following compliance report in the right half of the image.

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