Following a massive recall that pulled more than three million Philips Respironics CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator machines from the market, former users are left to wonder what kind of long-term effects they could face as a result of inhaling toxic debris and/or chemicals released by defective sound abatement foam used in the recalled machines. If you or someone you love has been adversely affected by the Philips CPAP recall issued in June 2021, contact us today to find out how we can help. Consumers who suffer adverse health outcomes due to dangerous or defective medical devices may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries, and a knowledgeable product liability lawyer can help you determine whether you qualify for a Philips CPAP cancer lawsuit.
The CPAP and BiPAP machines affected by the recent recall are breathing assistance machines commonly used as a treatment for sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. These machines can help people with sleep apnea breathe more easily by delivering a stream of oxygenated air into the airways, thereby keeping the airways from collapsing during sleep. The recalled mechanical ventilators are medical devices that help a person breathe when they are unable to breathe on their own, either because they are sick, injured or sedated for a medical procedure. These devices pump oxygen-rich air into the lungs and help the patient breathe out harmful carbon dioxide gas.
The recalled CPAP and BiPAP machines and mechanical ventilators made by Philips Respironics were manufactured with a polyester-based polyurethan (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam inside, which was meant to reduce vibrations and make the machines quieter. Unfortunately, it was recently discovered that the sound abatement foam may break down over time and release black particles or toxic chemicals into the air pathways of the devices. This poses a potential health risk to users who may ingest the foam debris or inhale the chemicals off gassed from the foam, which the FDA warns could cause myriad health problems, possibly including asthma, respiratory tract irritation, headache, and toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects.
Among the cancers that may be associated with the recalled Philips CPAP machines are bladder cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, kidney cancer, and more. In addition to cancer, these medical devices may also be linked to kidney disease, cardiovascular problems, respiratory failure, pulmonary fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, liver disease, and other chronic health conditions. Despite the serious nature of these potential CPAP machine side effects, Philips Respironics has provided little to no information to consumers about the specific health risks they could face as a result of potentially breathing in harmful foam particles or toxic chemicals from the defective sound abatement foam. Users have been advised to immediately stop using the recalled devices, yet there has been no definitive information from Philips regarding what problems they could face and what symptoms to watch out for.
The FDA warns that inhaling particulate matter or chemicals from the foam “can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.” On July 29, 2021, the FDA added a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the Philips Respironics recall to its website, highlighting the risks associated with the continued use of the recalled devices and discussing alternative therapies for sleep apnea and other breathing conditions the recalled devices were intended to treat. The FDA indicates on the FAQs page that consumers may continue to use the recalled devices if their healthcare provider determines that the benefits of treatment outweigh the potential risks identified in the recall notification. Given the fact that the exact side effects of inhaling or swallowing debris from the foam or toxic chemicals remain largely unknown, this may be a difficult decision for many consumers to make.
According to allegations raised in a growing number of Philips CPAP lawsuits, long-time users of CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator machines made by Philips Respironics may be at risk for any number of serious or potentially life-threatening side effects from years of inhaling harmful debris or toxic chemicals released by the devices’ sound abatement foam. If you or someone you love used a Philips CPAP or BiPAP machine for sleep apnea or a recalled mechanical ventilator, do not hesitate to discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable Philips CPAP cancer attorney. A qualified attorney can help you maximize any potential recovery you may be entitled to for your CPAP-related injuries and losses.