Iowa couple frustrated with delays of CPAP replacement

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Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - We all know the sudden fear of trying to catch our breath.

An Iowa man lives with that feeling every day and night but he’s unable to use a potentially life-saving machine.

Last year a CPAP machine purchased through Medicare came as a breath of fresh air for Duane Dreager.

“Without that mask on forcing air into me, as soon as I lay down my sinuses just kick in like I’m trying to drown,” said Duane.

Then a CPAP recall seven months ago had him taking a deep breath.

“It’s scary because it’s supposed to save your life. Instead, it could make you worse,” said Duane.

Doctors recommended Duane wait for Phillips to replace his CPAP device forcing his wife Karen to hold her breath at bedtime.

”He just sits up fighting for air, so he just sleeps in the recliner. All the time, ever since October,” said Karen.

Under federal regulations, suppliers must replace equipment less than five years old at no charge. On fixed incomes, the Dreager’s can’t afford to pay for a CPAP so they registered with Phillips Respironics and have waited months for a replacement.

“Why can they not get machines out to these people? We’re not the only ones if there are that many, thousands recalled that are fighting this battle,” said Karen.

A Phillips spokesman tells 6 News the Dreager’s situation has been forwarded to a patient care team with a request for a timely follow-up. The couple says a replacement CPAP machine is long overdue.

“That’s where it will go right back to the closest,” said Duane.

After 6 News contacted Medicare, a mediator reached out to both the Dreager’s and Philips Respironics.

They’ve been told a replacement CPAP machine has been ordered. The couple can expect delivery within a month.

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