Cancer Causing Philips CPAP Breathing Machines Recalled
Houston CPAP Cancer Attorney
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is estimated to affect between two and nine percent of the U.S. adult population. Still, many cases are thought to go undiagnosed, fitting with studies that have discovered much higher rates of OSA. Once diagnosed with OSA, patients are generally instructed to sleep on their sides, quit smoking, lose weight, and decrease their use of sedative medications. In conjunction with these measures, many are prescribed nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine. These machines push air through a hose, into a mask, and into the patient’s airway to keep it open during sleep. Patients are to wear them at night or anytime while they are sleeping to decrease the risk of airway collapse.
While CPAP machines have undoubtedly saved many lives and improved the physical and emotional health of many, they aren’t without risks. One recent risk involved the recall of Philips Respironics ventilators, BiPAP, and CPAP devices. If you were using one of these devices and subsequently were diagnosed with cancer or other health problems, you could be owed compensation for your injuries. An experienced Houston CPAP cancer attorney can help you seek it.
Philips CPAP, BiPAP, Ventilator Recalls
Philips Respironics has recalled many of its respiratory machines due to recently discovered potential health risks. These machines contain a polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam. The foam is used to decrease sound and vibration in the machine. However, it may break down and potentially enter the device’s air pathway. If this happens, black debris from the foam or other harmful chemicals released into the device’s air pathway may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using it. This can result in severe injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent lasting damage.
The types of machines included in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall are:
- DreamStation ASV
- DreamStation ST, AVAPS
- SystemOne ASV4
- C-Series ASV
- C-Series S/T and AVAPS
- OmniLab Advanced+
- SystemOne (Q-Series)
- DreamStation Go
- Dorma 400
- Dorma 500
- REMstar SE Auto
Philips said it would replace the current sound-abatement foam with new material. They also said there would be updated instructions for use and a comprehensive repair and replacement program for the recalled machines.
Health Implications of Recalled Device Use
Philips Respironics has received several complaints from patients and caretakers who have found black debris/particles within the device’s air pathway. They have also received reports of upper airway irritation, cough, chest pressure, headache, and sinus infection. These symptoms could be related to this issue. High heat and high humidity environments can exacerbate foam degradation, as can the use of unapproved cleaning methods.
The potential risks of particulate exposure include:
- Irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract
- Inflammatory response
- Toxic or carcinogenic effects to organs, such as the liver and kidneys
The potential risks of exposure to the chemicals or off-gassing released into the machine’s air pathway from the PE-PUR foam can include:
- Irritation in the skin, eyes, nose, and respiratory tract
- Toxic and carcinogenic effects
If you or someone you love has used one of the recalled machines and experienced these symptoms or health problems, it’s essential to contact a skilled Houston CPAP cancer attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better your chances of receiving a full and fair recovery.
Is Your Machine Recalled?
If you own or use one of the recalled machines, there are some crucial steps you need to take. First, contact your doctor to determine a suitable replacement treatment for your condition. These may include:
- Refraining from the use of your device
- Using another similar device that hasn’t been recalled
- Using alternative sleep apnea treatments— for example, positional therapy or oral appliances
- Starting long term therapies for sleep apnea, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and smoking cessation
- Considering surgical options
- Continuing to use your impacted device, if your doctor believes the benefits outweigh the risks mentioned in the recall
Ensure that you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your CPAP machine. Only use the recommended cleaning and replacement guidelines for your CPAP machine and parts. Keep in mind that Ozone cleaners can increase the breakdown of the foam. There are also other possible risks associated with using ozone and ultraviolet (UV) light products for cleaning CPAP devices and their parts.
Who is Responsible for Your CPAP Injuries and Damages?
Companies that manufacture medical devices like CPAP machines owe their consumers, like you, a duty of care. They should be diligent in ensuring that only safe products are brought to the market. They are also responsible for warning of any risks of using their products or special instructions that must be followed. If they fail to take these actions, they can put patient’s health and safety at risk.
As such, the machine’s manufacturer can be found liable and ordered by the court to pay your damages. Your damages might include lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. A knowledgeable Houston CPAP cancer lawyer can assess your case to determine your legal rights and options.
Call an Experienced Houston CPAP Cancer Lawyer Today
When a potentially life-saving device that you trust to keep you or your family member healthy ends up doing the opposite, you might feel blindsided. You followed your doctor’s instructions, the manufacturer’s instructions, and now you are worse for it. At Blizzard Law, we understand your fears and concerns about your recall-affected machine and your health. We can assess the specific details of your situation to determine what your next steps should be. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation case consultation with one of our skilled Houston CPAP cancer attorneys. We are here to help you during this challenging and confusing time.