Recalled Philips CPAP Machine Linked to Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

A Missouri woman alleges in a new product liability lawsuit that toxic particles from defective foam used in a Philips CPAP machine caused her to develop kidney cancer. According to the claim, the plaintiff, Angela Holmes, needed surgery to remove her kidney after developing kidney cancer and other injuries allegedly related to exposure to chemicals released by the sound abatement foam used in Philips’ CPAP devices. If you or someone you know routinely used one of the CPAP, BiPAP or ventilator machines affected by the recent Philips recall, you could be at risk for serious injuries due to inhaling or ingesting toxic chemicals or particles from degraded sound abatement foam. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out if you are eligible to file a product liability lawsuit against Philips for damages.

Recalled Devices Contain Defective Sound Abatement Foam

In June 2021, Philips Respironics recalled more than a dozen models of its Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) devices for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, as well as several models of ventilator devices used for patients with respiratory conditions. The recalled devices are used to provide breathing assistance. However, according to the FDA, the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam used to reduce sound and vibration in the affected Philips CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices may break down over time. “If this occurs, black debris from the foam or certain chemicals released into the device’s air pathway may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device,” the FDA warned in a safety communication issued earlier this month. “These issues can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.”

Potential Side Effects of Exposure to Degraded PE-PUR Foam

At the time of the recall announcement, Philips Respironics had received several complaints from users who noticed black particles or debris in the air pathway of their CPAP, BiPAP or ventilator devices. The company had also received reports of users suffering a headache, cough, upper airway irritation, chest pressure, and sinus infection. According to the FDA, the potential health risks associated with exposure to particulate matter from the sound abatement foam include headache, asthma, irritation to the skin, eye, and respiratory tract, inflammatory response, “and toxic or carcinogenic effects to organs, such as kidneys and liver.” The potential health risks of exposure to chemicals released by the PE-PUR foam are similar and include headache, dizziness, hypersensitivity, irritation in the eyes, nose, respiratory tract, and skin, nausea/vomiting, and toxic and carcinogenic effects.

Lawsuits Seeking Damages for Recalled Devices

In the months following the Philips CPAP recall, former users of the recalled medical devices began filing lawsuits against Philips Respironics, alleging that the company failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers about the health risks associated with the sound abatement foam contained within its widely used CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator machines. According to this latest Philips CPAP lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Missouri on September 22, Angela Holmes used one of the recalled CPAP machines nightly to manage her obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Holmes was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January 2021, after being regularly exposed to harmful chemicals released by the degrading sound abatement foam and underwent surgery to have her kidney removed in April 2021. Holmes also states in her lawsuit that she suffered esophageal irritation and inflammation as a result of exposure to the degrading sound abatement foam. “Plaintiff’s use of the [Philips DreamStation device] caused or significantly contributed to her development and progression of kidney cancer and/or esophageal irritation and inflammation, which has permanently changed her life,” the CPAP lawsuit states. Holmes’ lawsuit joins a growing number of claims accusing Philips of designing and manufacturing defective medical devices and withholding from consumers information about the health risks associated with exposure to the PE-PUR sound abatement foam.

An Experienced Product Liability Lawyer Can Help

An estimated 3.5 million CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices were affected by the Philips recall, and the first indication of a problem with the medical devices was mentioned in a statement for investors back in April 2021, two months before consumers were notified of the recall. If you or a loved one has developed cancer or another serious side effect allegedly linked to the Philips CPAP recall, do not hesitate to speak to a product liability lawyer about your legal options. You may have grounds to file a CPAP cancer recall lawsuit against Philips in order to pursue financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

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