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Hi Everyone,

I need a bit of advice from some more experienced people. I had a sleep study through the NHS last week & have been diagnosed with extreme Sleep Apnea (60-70 instances an hour). 

However I have now been told that I have to be referred to another department before I can actually receive a CPAP machine, and that this department has a 6 month waiting list!!!! This is a bit of a kick as now that I have been diagnosed I am really looking forward to some relief!

My questions is... Do I need to wait for this department or can I just go out and buy one direct? I am guessing that I cannot get a standard CPAP as I don't know what pressure I need but is an APAP machine just plug and go? 

Thanks in advance!!

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Hi Dave, and sorry to hear you've been diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea, but when you get on CPAP you should start to feel so much better.

To purchase a CPAP machine you need a prescription from the consultant, and if you really want to purchase your own then I'd bring that up when you get your next appointment, or ring the hospital for advice.  With severe sleep apnoea you need to be monitored properly and also check it's just obstructive sleep apnoea and not central.  Lots of hospitals are happy to look after their patients even when they purchase their own machine, and it would be worth finding out which manufacturer they use too as it will be easier for them to monitor you if they have the right software from the manufacturer they use.  Different hospitals use different ones.

If you do buy one make sure you get a good one and ask if they will look after it if you do buy one.

Some clinics will supply filters and check it every year after the warranty is out.  They might even repair and give you a loan machine.  Make sure you ask these questions.  Also, ask if they will supply you with a mask and hose.  Masks can be the biggest problem and the most expensive item.  You may need several before you find the one you can get on with.

You might need to settle with the make of machine the clinic uses if they agree to service and maintain it.  If this is the case, go for the best model you can afford and make sure it is an AUTO, the reason for this is an Auto can do both Auto and Cpap.

If you need a more complicated machine, they do come at a premium price.

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