A recent product liability lawsuit brought against Philips, the maker of DreamStation CPAP sleep apnea machines, alleges that exposure to toxic particles released by a recalled CPAP device caused a California woman to develop mouth cancer and recurrent pneumonia. A growing number of lawsuits claim that Philips’ recalled CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices caused them to suffer serious and potentially life-threatening injuries from exposure to toxic debris or chemicals released by the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam used in the devices. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer after using a recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator device, contact Consumer Safety Watch today. We know how devastating medical device injuries can be and we can help you navigate hiring an experienced product liability lawyer and determining whether you qualify for compensation.
Millions of Philips-made Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP), and mechanical ventilator devices were recalled by the company in June 2021, after it was revealed that the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam meant to reduce sound and vibrations during use could degrade over time and release toxic foam particles and/or chemicals into the device’s air pathway. According to the FDA, “If this occurs, black debris from the foam or certain chemicals […] may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device.”
The recalled devices include certain CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilator devices designed to assist patients with breathing. CPAP and BiPAP machines are commonly prescribed to patients with sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Continuous ventilators are meant to mechanically control or assist breathing in patients who are unable to breathe on their own. The affected devices were manufactured by Philips Respironics between 2009 and April 26, 2021.
Philips acknowledged the problem with the PE-PUR foam in its recall notification on June 14, 2021, stating that the company has received reports from patients who may have been affected by the foam degradation. “The potential risks of particulate exposure include headache, irritation, inflammation, respiratory issues, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects,” Philips noted. “The potential risks of chemical exposure due to off-gassing include headache, irritation, hypersensitivity, nausea/vomiting, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects.” The FDA warns that “These issues can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.”
The Philips CPAP recall resulted in a wave of lawsuits filed by users who allege that they developed cancer, respiratory problems, and other injuries caused by the recalled sleep apnea machines. This latest CPAP injury lawsuit was filed on December 15, by plaintiff Sandra Silva in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where Philips CPAP lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country have been centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). According to the complaint, Silva began using a DreamStation CPAP machine daily for sleep apnea in January 2017. She developed pneumonia twice in one year and was hospitalized both times, which she alleges was caused by breathing in toxic particles from the sound abatement foam. Then, in November 2021, Silva was diagnosed with oral squamous carcinoma in her soft palate, a form of mouth cancer.
More than 100 CPAP lawsuits have already been consolidated before Senior District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the federal MDL, as of December 15, 2021, and hundreds, if not thousands, of additional claims are expected to be filed as CPAP users across the country learn about the potential risk of cancer, respiratory issues, and other serious health problems associated with the devices. Each CPAP injury lawsuit brought against Philips raises similar allegations that the company designed, manufactured and sold defective breathing assistance devices that put users at risk for serious short-term and long-term health issues. Overall, estimates put the number of people affected by the Philips CPAP recall at approximately two million. If you believe you have been harmed by a recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator machine, contact the consumer advocates at Consumer Safety Watch today to discuss your options.