The Dangers of Defective Phillips CPAP Machines
For millions of people in the United States who have sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can be a very beneficial tool. CPAP machines work to keep a person’s airways open so that they can rest more comfortably while reducing the risk of other health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. However, as is the case for all other medical devices, it’s crucial that CPAP machines function as intended or patients are at risk for harm.
In June 2021, Phillips announced a recall of over five million CPAP machines (in addition to other types of machines such as BiPAP machines and ventilators) because foam used in the machine to reduce noise could break off and get inhaled while the machine is in use. Additionally, as this foam degrades over time, it can emit chemicals which may be harmful to users.
According to an April 2023 article by CBS News, the FDA has received over 98,000 complaints since April 2021 related to products involved in the original Phillips recall. Additionally, by the end of 2022, the FDA received reports of 346 deaths related to complaints about the foam. While Phillips made an effort to repair the defective CPAP machines, there have been issues with the foam also failing in repaired machines.
When CPAP machines are defective, sleep apnea patients are at risk for not getting the therapeutic benefits they need. According to the FDA, risks of inhaling or swallowing pieces of the foam or inhaling chemicals from the foam include: headaches, asthma, inflammation, irritation to skin and airways, and cancer-causing effects. Some of the complaints received by the FDA have included reports of headaches, dizziness, chest pain, pneumonia, and other breathing difficulties.
Unfortunately for patients using these CPAP machines, getting replacement machines has been a difficult and slow process. Not only have there been some issues with the machines that have been repaired, others have been struggling to get a replacement machine. In 2022, NPR reported that this has left many patients in the difficult position of having to choose between not using the machine at all, putting themselves at risk for health complications, or continuing to use the defective machine, increasing their risk of other health issues, while they wait for a new machine.
Contact a Michigan Defective Product Lawyer
Cases like this are an example of just how difficult defective medical devices can be. It isn’t a matter of a simple inconvenience for the people who depend on these devices to healthily live their lives. If you’ve been harmed by a faulty medical device of any kind, you need a defective product lawyer on your side who can help you get the justice you deserve. At Scott Goodwin Law, we’re experienced in helping people who have been harmed by unsafe products. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.