Ventilation and sleep apnea devices, such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, are relied upon nightly by tens of millions of Americans to improve their quality of life and to prevent potentially fatal nighttime breathing obstruction episodes. A CPAP machine generally is expected to be used heavily for up to five years before it has to be replaced. Philips, one of the largest manufacturers of CPAP machines, made a shocking announcement in June that it was recalling over two million CPAP and BiPAP machines due to health risks from faulty components. In July, the FDA said that the health risks could be “life-threatening, cause permanent impairment and require medical intervention.”
According to a NY Times article from August, the risks are caused by a faulty polyurethane foam that was used in the machines; it can degrade and result in the patient breathing in chemicals and toxic black debris, causing asthma, skin and respiratory inflammation and irritation, and toxic effects to organs like the kidneys and liver.
The list of products recalled include:
- Dreamstation ASV
- Dreamstation SV, AVAPS
- Systemone ASV4
- C Series S/T, AVAPS
- Omnilamb Advanced Plus
- System One 50 Series
- System One 60 Series
- Dreamstation CPAP, Auto CPAP, BiPAP
- Dreamstation GO CPAP, APAP, Auto CPAP
- Dorma 400, 500 CPAP, Auto CPAP
In addition to the revelation that patients were exposed to health risks, an additional dimension is that due to supply chain issues and high demand, it is hard for patients to obtain replacements for their Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines. Some patients are being by doctors to continue using their machines until they can obtain a replacement, despite the additional cancer risks. From the NY Times:
“Philips’ recall notification for all types of machines sends this message: Your machine is dangerous,” Dr. Morgenthaler said. “If you are dependent upon it for life, keep using it now, and if you aren’t sure that is the case, stop using it. And discuss with your physician what you ought to do.”
He said it would be helpful to know the time needed for replacements and how to quantify the risks.
“Unfortunately, neither of those important pieces of information are supplied,” Dr. Morgenthaler said. “The risk of good or bad decisions is passed to the patient and provider. I hope we are doing it right.”
What can Hudson Valley Philips CPAP Patients Do?
Patients who were exposed to unnecessary cancer risks from their Philips CPAP machines have legal options. It is expected that thousands of patients will seek damages from Philips for their decision to use a carcinogen in the design and manufacture of their machines.
Our experienced legal team can walk you through your options with a free consultation. Give us a call at 845-600-0000 to set up an appointment at our law offices in either Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie, NY.
In the meantime, follow the FDA’s recommendations:
- Talk to your health care provider to decide on a suitable treatment for your condition, which may include: Stopping the use of your device.
- Using another similar device that is not part of the recall.
- Continuing to use your affected device, if your health care provider determines that the benefits outweigh the risks identified in the recall notification.
- Using alternative treatments for sleep apnea, such as positional therapy or oral appliances, which fit like a sports mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer.
- Initiating long-term therapies for sleep apnea, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol, stopping smoking, or, for moderate to severe sleep apnea, considering surgical options.