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What You Should Do If You Have Been Using a Defective Philips CPAP Device

Posted on 3rd August, 2021

by Legal Staff

There are 18 million people throughout the U.S. that are currently struggling with sleep apnea, a serious disorder that involves breathing frequently stopping during sleep if left untreated, which results in loud snoring and severe daytime fatigue.

Furthermore, it can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure over time. Alarmingly, up to 80% of people with sleep apnea are not officially diagnosed, which means that they do not receive treatment for their health issues.

One of the most effective ways of keeping this disorder under control is using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which constantly applies a level of pressure greater than atmospheric pressure to the upper respiratory tract. The primary purpose of this device is to keep the airways open during sleep. At the moment, Philips is the leading manufacturer of sleep apnea devices, having been producing these machines and ventilators since 1985.

Philips Has Recently Recalled 4 Million Sleep Apnea Devices

However, on June 30, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Safety Communication with regard to the company voluntarily recalling approximately 4 million CPAP, BiPAP, and ASV sleep apnea devices. The reason why these products were taken off the market is the polyurethane foam that is present in the sleep apnea devices to muffle sound and vibration. It was found that when the polyurethane foam deteriorates, it releases hazardous chemicals and off-gases, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds, in the air the user breathes, which can lead to the development of cancer.

If you have been treating your sleep apnea with a defective Philips machine or ventilator, you may think about what the best course of action is, as the risk of coming to struggle with a malignant disease such as brain cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, or lymphoma if you continue this therapy quite high. It is important to know that if you have already been diagnosed with cancer as a consequence of using a faulty Philips sleep apnea device, you may be entitled to compensation from the company. The team of Atraxia Law will help you determine if you are eligible for filing a claim with Philips.

How to Recognize a Defective Philips Sleep Apnea Device

In the majority of cases, a Philips sleep apnea machine or ventilator whose polyurethane foam has become severely damaged will start to release small black particles that are actually pieces of the deteriorated polyurethane foam. They can be seen in the water chamber or tubing of the device. Moreover, another telltale sign that your sleep apnea machine or ventilator is faulty is the occurrence of new symptoms after you use it, such as:

  • dizziness
  • chronic headaches
  • sinus congestion
  • chest pressure
  • upper respiratory infections
  • irritation of the eyes and nose
  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • sinus infections

Advice for People with Sleep Apnea Who Have Been Using Defective Philips CPAP Devices

The first step you should take if you have been using a faulty Philips CPAP sleep apnea device is to schedule a visit with your health care provider. Only they have the necessary expertise to help you with this problem. If the medical professional believes that the benefits of using the defective Philips CPAP device outweigh the risks, they will most likely recommend you to follow the same treatment. However, if they determine that you are at high risk for cancer, alternative sleep apnea treatments will be presented to you, such as the following:

  • using another sleep apnea machine or ventilator than those manufactured by Philips
  • using positional therapy, which entails wearing a special device around your waist that will keep you sleeping on your side
  • using oral appliances designed for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, which fit like a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer
  • removing the underlying causes of your sleep apnea by initiating long term treatment, which may involve avoiding alcohol, losing weight, quitting smoking, or surgery for moderate to severe sleep apnea

Nevertheless, if you have a Philips CPAP sleep apnea device whose polyurethane foam is still in good condition, your healthcare provider may advise you to keep using it, but with caution. Accordingly, you will have to follow the instructions of the manufacturer on how to use and clean it, as well as on when to replace it.

It is worthy of note that you should never use ozone or ultraviolet light products to clean your Philips CPAP device, as it can actually speed up the deterioration of the polyurethane foam. Moreover, using ozone to clean your sleep apnea machine or ventilator may cause you to experience health issues such as nasal and lung irritation, the aggravation of your asthma if you have this condition, and increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.

Recommendations for People Who Have Been Using Defective Philips Ventilators for Sleep Apnea

Like the case of Philips CPAP devices, if your sleep apnea treatment involves a defective ventilator, you should not cease using it unless your doctor advises you to do so. The Philips ASV is designed as a non-invasive therapy for sleep apnea that helps people breathe in a steady pattern during the night. Unfortunately, alternative ventilator options to keep sleep apnea under control may not exist or may be very limited for individuals who require this device for life-sustaining therapy. If this is your situation, your doctor may tell you to keep using it, as, once again, the benefits may be greater than the downsides.

Nonetheless, even if you have to use a faulty Philips ASV device, there are ways to minimize the inhalation and ingestion of harmful polyurethane foam particles. So far, the most effective method to avoid breathing in or swallowing the carcinogenic material is to place a bacterial filter on your ventilator. However, you must take into consideration the following aspects if you choose to use a bacterial filter in your ventilator:

  • the filter can affect the performance of the ventilator since it increases the resistance of airflow through the device
  • the filter will not reduce exposure to certain toxic chemicals released by the polyurethane foam

Regardless of the Philips sleep apnea device you are using, we cannot stress enough the importance of discussing the problem with your healthcare provider before deciding to stop your treatment with the machine or ventilator. Ceasing to use these faulty devices, even if they pose a significant risk of cancer, may actually prove to be more detrimental to your health.

Lastly, another essential thing you should not do if you found out your Philips sleep apnea device is defective is to throw it away or send it back to the company for a refund. Instead, you should keep your sleep apnea machine or ventilator, register it online on the website of the company, and seek financial compensation from Philips if you developed cancer. It is crucial to retain possession of your faulty Philips machine or ventilator, as the process of filing a claim entails having it inspected for defects by a team of experts in order to prove that using it was what caused your disease.

Our Expert Team Will Help You File Your Philips CPAP Claim for Cancer with the Company

In the regrettable case that you came to struggle with cancer as a consequence of using a faulty Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or ASV sleep apnea machine or ventilator, we are ready to offer you the necessary assistance to find out whether you are eligible for compensation. The only documents that we need from you are proof that you own a defective Philips device and your medical records, which must clearly state your cancer diagnosis.

After a complete assessment of your situation, we will be able to tell you with certainty whether you are entitled to filing a claim with the liable company. If you do, we will promptly guide you to a lawyer whose area of practice is product liability so that you can carry on with the legal process and eventually obtain the money you deserve for your distress.