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Philips CPAP and Sleep Apnea Machine Recall Attorney

When you have a medical condition that prevents you from getting the sleep that you need to live a healthy and productive life, there’s a good chance that you will do what it takes to get a good night’s rest. Many people who suffer from a condition known as sleep apnea use a device known as a CPAP machine to help them sleep.

Specific CPAP machines made by Philips Respironics not only interfered with users’ breathing, but they may have exposed them to cancer-causing toxins. As a result, Philips has recalled millions of its breathing devices and ventilators. The reason for the recall was that Philips was using polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam as noise reduction insulation in its products. Unfortunately, it turns out that the foam is made of potentially cancer-causing compounds.

Sleep apnea is an enormous problem in the United States. Approximately 22 million Americans suffer from this disorder, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. In addition, more than eight million Americans reportedly use CPAP machines, and that number is growing by nearly 10 percent every year.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or suffered another serious side effect after using a Philips CPAP machine or breathing device, you could be entitled to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman are ready to help you file a claim and get the justice and compensation you deserve. We believe that companies who place dangerous products on the market should pay the price for harming innocent consumers.

We encourage you to call our office today for a free legal consultation. There are no fees until we win money for you.

Philips CPAP Machines Contained Toxic Foam

So, what is a CPAP machine? CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. These devices send a constant flow of oxygen into a person’s mouth and nose during sleep. This steady supply of oxygen keeps a person’s airways open and allows them to breathe more normally. However, the CPAP machine does not breathe for you.

CPAP machines have small motors that produce a steady stream of pressurized air. The air flows through a filter and into a flexible tube. The tube connects to a mask sealed around the nose and mouth.

Similar to CPAP machines, BiPAP machines, also known as bilevel positive airway pressure machines, are used by people with sleep apnea, including those who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure.

Philips has voluntarily recalled millions of CPAP and BiPAP sleep apnea machines due to potential health hazards. The foam used to reduce sound and vibration in the devices can break down and make its way into the air pathway of the device. If this happens, black debris from the foam or related chemical emissions can be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device. The company also recalled some of its mechanical ventilators.

“These issues can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage,” the Food and Drug Administration said in a safety communication.

The foam can break down and release dangerous chemicals even if there are no visible particles.

The Philips devices subject to the recall include devices manufactured before April 26, 2021, such as:

  • DreamStation ASV, ST, AVAPS
  • DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, BiPAP
  • DreamStation GO CPAP, APAP
  • SystemOne ASV4, Q Series
  • C Series ASV, S/T, AVAPS
  • Dorma 400, 500 CPAP
  • REMStar SE Auto CPAP

The company’s first-generation DreamStation products account for the bulk of the recalled devices.

Some of the recalled sleep apnea machines have been on the market since 2009. As a result, some consumers have been exposed to the toxic foam or foam gases for over ten years.

Philips says the use of unapproved cleaning methods could exacerbate the degradation of the foam. In addition, hot and humid environments could contribute to the breakdown of the foam. You can read Philips’ statement and access a complete list of recalled equipment here.

The company says patients using CPAP and BiPAP devices should stop using the units and call their doctors. However, patients using life-sustaining mechanical ventilators should continue using the machines and contact their doctors to determine an appropriate course of care.

Consumers can register affected devices at www.philips.com/SRC-update. The website provides current information on the status of the recall and instructions on how to locate the serial number of a device. 

Possible Link Between Philips CPAP Machines and Cancer

Researchers believe that the foam in Philips’ sleep apnea machines may cause various types of cancer, including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney cancer

The machines may also cause:

  • Headaches
  • Upper airway irritations
  • Coughing
  • Sinus infections
  • Asthma
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman Can Help You File a CPAP Claim

You may be able to pursue a claim against Philips if you used one of the recalled sleep apnea machines and have been diagnosed with cancer or another health problem that you or your doctor believe was caused by the device. You will need to know the specific device you used. It would help if you also documented when you started using the machine and for how long.

Our medical device attorneys can evaluate the facts of your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. In addition, we can help you obtain your medical records and develop a legal strategy for you to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. Product liability cases are complicated, especially those involving medical devices, so having an attorney on your side is key.

Depending on the facts of our case, you could be entitled to various types of compensation, including:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering

A class-action lawsuit was brought against Philips in Massachusetts federal court in June 2021, alleging that the medical equipment maker knew about the toxic foam and its dangers for years. The suit, Shelton v. Koninklijke Philips N.V., No. 21-cv-11076 (D. Mass.), says Philips failed to warn the public about the defective devices until April 2021 and did not recall the units two months later, on June 14, 2021. The lawsuit also claims that Philips timed the recall to coincide with its launch of a new generation of CPAP products that do not have the same problems. Philips’ timing forces consumers who rely on the breathing machines to buy new models and boost the company’s profits, the complaint says.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. There are three primary types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the disorder, occurs when the muscles in a person’s throat relax.
  2. Central sleep apnea occurs when a person’s brain fails to send correct signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  3. Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when an individual has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. This condition is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability

People who are overweight, older, smoke or have certain diseases such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, males are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than women. The Mayo Clinic advises that people who suspect that they have sleep apnea seek medical attention.

Our medical device defect attorneys are actively monitoring this area of litigation and are ready to help you win your sleep apnea machine claim. To learn more, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 777-7777 or using our online form.

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