Philips CPAP Machine Recall
Phillips Respironics, the world’s largest manufacturer of CPAPs, has issued recalls for a large number of their CPAP and BiPAP devices. This is due to the degradation of the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam used in the devices, which can be ingested by the users causing serious side effects.
Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices are used by those experiencing sleep apnea or COPD. They are doctor prescribed and while most often used by adults, some infants benefit from the use of CPAP machines if they were born without fully developed lungs. Sleep apnea is very common but more common in patients with high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
The CPAP and BiPAP devices use PE-PUR foam as a sound dampener. The reported problems with Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines are that the foam degrades over time, causing particles to break away and directly enter the user’s airways, lodging in their lungs and that the foam gives off fumes of two toxic chemicals which are then inhaled by the users.
In the cases where the PE-PUR foam particles break off and enter the user’s body, the body will react in two ways. One way is when particles continue to degrade and enter the user’s bloodstream, passing along toxins to other organs and parts of the body. The other way is when the body will attempt to encapsulate the particles, which then increases the probability of cancer.
Additional health risks to inhaling PE-PUR foam particles and gasses include headache, irritation, inflammation, respiratory issues, nausea, and vomiting.
Philips Respironics is advising patients to work with their doctor to determine if they should continue to use the affected device. Philips Respironics is offering to replaces affected devices but does state they have not received any reports regarding patients who have been affected by the foam degradation. They say the degradation of the foam may be exacerbated by usage of unapproved cleaning methods, and that high heat and high humidity may also contribute.
Philips estimates that as many as 2 million of its CPAP machines are currently in use in the United States. Non-Philips brands of CPAP and BiPAP machines are not affected by this recall.
If you or a loved one used a recalled Philips CPAP or BiPAP machine that was manufactured prior to April 26, 2021, and later diagnosed with cancer, lung injury, and/or pulmonary fibrosis, you may benefit from speaking with an attorney.