What’s up with Resmed’s magnetic connectors?

What’s up with Resmed’s magnetic connectors?

Read time: 4 minutes

What’s inside?

  • The heart of the matter…
  • What’s the problem with magnetic connectors?
  • What was Resmed’s response?
  • Which Resmed masks are impacted?
  • What’s next?


The heart of the matter… geddit?

Recent developments have brought to light concerns surrounding the use of magnetic CPAP masks, particularly those produced by ResMed.

These masks, including the F20 I use myself, are designed for the convenience of sleep apnea patients and feature magnetic clips that make them easy to put on and take off. However, the very feature that defines their ease of use has become a source of concern for users with pacemakers, stents, or other implantable medical devices.


What’s the problem with magnetic connectors?

The issue at hand is the potential for magnetic interference.

Given magnets work on positive and negative electrical forces, those in CPAP masks could potentially disrupt the functioning of pacemakers or other implanted medical devices, which rely on electrical signals to operate effectively.

This interference can pose serious health risks, prompting ResMed to issue a warning to users of these devices.


What was ResMed's response?

In response to these concerns, ResMed has taken proactive steps to inform and protect users. Their advice comes in 3 parts:

  • Immediate Action:

The magnetic connectors should be kept at least 150mm (6 inches) from any medical implants, including pacemakers and stents.

Given pacemakers could be within the 150mm mark and stents are more likely to be even closer to a worn mask, it may be prudent to stop using this type of mask while you  do the next part…

  • Consult Healthcare Providers:

Users with implanted medical devices are urged to consult with their healthcare providers to assess the risks associated with using magnetic CPAP masks.

In straightforward language… go see your sleep specialist and whatever department fitted your medical implant very soon. Their advice will be critical in deciding if part 3 is for you…

  • Seek Alternatives When Necessary: For users identified at risk, the recommendation is to seek alternative masks that do not feature magnetic clips, thus eliminating the risk of magnetic interference.

There are a lot around, although many users have already expressed concerns it took them ages, sometimes years, to find a mask that works… and now they may need to go through that process again.

Still, better that than having your medical device go wonky now, isn’t it?


Which Resmed masks are impacted?

The good news is Resmed have provided a clear list of masks effected by this new advice… and here they are:

Full face mask

  • AirFit F20,
  • AirFit F20 for Her
  • AirTouch F20,
  • AirTouch F20 for Her
  • AirFit F30
  • AirFit F30i

Nasal mask

  • AirFit N10,
  • AirFit N10 for Her
  • AirFit N20,
  • AirFit N20 for Her
  • AirTouch N20,
  • AirTouch N20 for Her

Non vented mask

  • AirFit F20 NV

Not all these masks are sold in every country.

The good part is Resmed say this is the complete list.

So… if you use a Resmed mask and it isn’t one of these… you have nothing to worry about.

However, it is also important to remember that other makers could possibly be using similar magnetic connectors, so don’t rely on the Resmed list alone. If your mask uses these connectors, it would seem sensible to get your medical specialist’s advice before too long.


What’s next?

Firstly, fair play to ResMed for putting their hands-up when the potential for issues came to light. Their commitment to patient safety is evident in their response to the potential risks posed by some products.

By advising users to consult healthcare professionals and providing alternatives, ResMed aims to ensure that sleep apnea treatment remains both effective and safe for all users, regardless of their medical conditions.

For those affected, the journey doesn't end here. Ongoing communication with healthcare providers will be key in navigating this situation.

There are plenty other masks out there. So, if you are impacted or concerned by this news, there will be an alternative you can move to... although getting used to the new one may take a little time.

Finally, it is worth remembering the magnet connectors are a great innovation. If you are using one of these Resmed masks and do not have medical implants, they are still safe to use… and MUCH easier to slip on and off with less hassle.

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