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The Long-Term Side Effects You May Experience After Using a Faulty Sleep Apnea Device

Posted on 11th August, 2021

by Legal Staff

As a weighty sleep disorder, sleep apnea occurs when breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. The most usual type is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the muscles relax when you sleep, causing soft tissue to collapse and thereby block the airways.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to the development of serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and depression.

There are currently over 23 million Americans who struggle with sleep apnea, out of whom, alarmingly, 18 million are undiagnosed. One of the most beneficial treatments for sleep apnea entails using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, whose purpose is to deliver pressurized air through a hose and mask into the airways during sleep. By having a constant source of air while you are sleeping, your airways will remain open, which will enhance breathing and the quality of sleep.

Philips, the leading manufacturer of CPAP sleep apnea machines, recalled more than 4 million devices on June 14, 2021. The reason why these sleep apnea machines were taken off the market is the sound abatement polyurethane foam that is present in the products. When it deteriorates, it releases toxic chemicals that users inevitably breathe in during sleep. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to a wide range of health problems, including multiple types of cancer. However, before developing cancer, you may first come to struggle with one or more side effects as a consequence of the long-term use of a defective CPAP sleep apnea device.

What Side Effects Does Using a Defective Sleep Apnea Device Usually Cause?

Firstly, it is important to know that Philips CPAP sleep apnea machines, whether they are defective or not, have the same normal side effects in common with other similar devices. Most of these should not be a cause for concern, as they will usually solve themselves over time as the person becomes accustomed to their CPAP machine. The following are the side effects of CPAP sleep apnea machines that you should not worry about:

  • skin marks, rashes, or sores
  • nasal dryness or inflammation
  • abdominal discomfort
  • dry eyes or eye irritation
  • ear pressure or ear pain
  • respiratory infections
  • difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • runny nose
  • nosebleeds
  • feelings of claustrophobia
  • headaches
  • feeling short of breath

The majority of these side effects stem from having to wear the mask over your nose and mouth every night. You can mitigate the ones that create discomfort by using various effective methods. For instance, if you experience skin rashes, you should try using mask liners or cream. Similarly, if you developed a respiratory infection, it means that your device and the accessories it has had not been properly cleaned and disinfected. As a result, they accumulated bacteria that made their way into your respiratory system. To make sure this will not happen again in the future, you should make sure you thoroughly and regularly clean your sleep apnea machine as recommended in the handbook.

The Side Effects You Can Experience After the Long-Term Use of a Defective Sleep Apnea Device

As for the side effects that may occur with the long-term use of a defective Philips CPAP device, it is important to note that they are very serious, and you will have to schedule a medical appointment immediately for these since they can take a heavy toll on your health. The recalled sleep apnea devices can cause the side effects below, particularly if you have been using one of them for 6 months or longer:

  • airway inflammation
  • respiratory system irritation
  • various types of cancer
  • hypersensitivity reactions
  • liver or kidney damage
  • asthma

If you notice unusual symptoms, we strongly advise you to visit a medical professional immediately, as exposure to the chemicals polyurethane foam releases in the air you breathe from the CPAP device is strongly associated with cancer. The longer you use a defective Philips sleep apnea machine, the higher your cancer risk is. Nevertheless, you should know that cancer takes several years to occur after you first inhaled dangerous chemicals from a CPAP device.

The good news is that not every CPAP machine user will develop a malignant disease as a result of using a recalled Philips sleep apnea machine. Surprisingly, your doctor may recommend you to continue using yours even if it is defective, as the benefits may outweigh the risks. This is why it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider if you found out you had been using a faulty CPAP sleep apnea device.

Some of the Long-Term Side Effects May Precede Cancer in Philips CPAP Users

Regrettably, if you developed one of the serious side effects of using a defective Philips CPAP sleep apnea machine, your cancer risk is higher. For example, if you have kidney damage and undergo dialysis, your risk of coming to struggle with kidney cancer is 5 times greater than if your kidneys were working properly.

Likewise, if you suffer from liver damage, you are at considerable risk of developing liver cancer. Most cases of liver cancer are connected with scarring and damage of the liver. Unfortunately, the prognosis of most people with liver cancer is dire, as their life expectancy is approximately 3 years from the moment of diagnosis.

Finally, if you have airway inflammation, irritation of the respiratory system, or asthma, you may also be at high risk for nasal cancer or lung cancer. Because these conditions gradually cause damage to your respiratory system, it will become more susceptible to the growth of malignant tumors.

Our Team Will Help You File Your Cancer Claim with Philips

If you had the misfortune of developing cancer as a result of using a defective Philips CPAP sleep apnea machine, we will provide you with the assistance you need to determine whether you are entitled to compensation.

You will only have to send our team of professionals evidence of you owning a faulty Philips sleep apnea device and your medical records that explain your cancer diagnosis.

After a careful assessment, we will let you know whether you are eligible for compensation from the Dutch company. If you are, we will put you in touch with a top attorney who specializes in product liability. They will help you proceed with the legal process and eventually obtain the maximum compensation you qualify for from Philips.