Sleep apnea machines, which are also known as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices, are designed to help individuals who experience disrupted breathing during sleep.
They work by pumping constant and steady air pressure into the sleeper’s throat. This ensures that their airway stays open through the night, fostering regular breathing patterns and eliminating instances of momentary breathlessness.
While the vast majority of CPAP machines are completely safe, something went wrong with the Philips device, which was one of the most popular sleep apnea machines on the market.
The Potential Harmful Effects of the Philips CPAP Machine
Philips Respironics recalled over five million of their CPAP machines in June 2021 after discovering that the foam used in the product, which helps to reduce noise levels, was breaking off. Not only was the foam breaking. It was also blowing into the users’ mouths, which meant people were inhaling the foam particles. That has resulted in the risk of users developing numerous lung-related conditions, including cancers. Indeed, it is believed that the Philips CPAP machine could be life-threatening.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has, since April 2021, received approximately 98,000 complaints associated with the Philips CPAP device’s foam issue, including complaints of chest pain, infections, and cancer.
Even more worrying, over 340 deaths have been reported. However, at the moment, the cancer conditions and deaths lack verification. Philips Respironics has said that it has found no conclusive data that links their devices to the reported deaths.
But the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration has called the analysis by Philips Respironics “unpersuasive.”
The Problem May Have Existed Much Earlier Than 2021
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed an inspection of Philips Respironics’ manufacturing facility and filed a report. In that report, the FDA claims that Philips knew that there was an issue with the CPAP machines’ foam way back in 2015.
The FDA also notes that, despite Philips being aware of the problem and potential risk, the company took no steps to change the design of the devices. Of course, neither did Phips recall the machines until six years later.
However, in response to the claims, a Philips Respironics spokesperson stated that complaints related to the foam degradation in previous years were evaluated on a case-by-case basis and it was only in 2021 that the company became aware of a potentially major problem.
Once Philips became aware of the potential risk of their CPAP machines, the company recalled the products.
Do You Still Use a Philips CPAP Machine?
If you have been unaware of the product recall, you could perhaps still be using a Philips CPAP machine. If that is the case, make sure you follow these steps, as recommended by the FDA.
Talk to Your Health Care Provider
Firstly, talk to your healthcare provider before you change the ventilator you use. By finding a breathing device with an inline bacterial filter, pieces of foam could be filtered out. However, it is important to note that inline bacterial filters will not reduce contact with certain chemicals that can be released from the foam used in the Philips CPAP machines.
So, it is crucial that you get a professional opinion on the type of device to use.
Register Your Device on the Recall Website
Next, register your CPAP device on the Philips recall website. This will formally let Philips know you have a product that has been recalled and it will enable you to receive updates about the issue.
Follow the steps as outlined on the website.
Report a Health Issue
If you have been using a Philips CPAP machine and have developed health problems, such as respiratory problems, contact your healthcare provider to get a medical assessment.
Also, report the problem via the MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form.
Contact a Lawyer
The final step, if you have developed a relevant health issue after using a Philips CPAP machine, is to contact a lawyer. You may be able to receive compensation.
Many people across the U.S. are filing a Philips CPAP lawsuit against the device manufacturers for failing to warn about the product’s potential danger and placing a dangerous item on the market.
All of the federal Philips CPAP lawsuits have been consolidated into a single process called multi-district litigation. That means, if you have suffered a CPAP machine-related injury, you have the opportunity to join the nationwide lawsuit.
Just because the Philip CPAP machine puts people at risk, do not be put off using devices to help with your sleep apnea.
Just make sure you consult a healthcare professional as they will be able to guide you in finding the right device.