According to a report posted on KansasCity.com, Philips has recalled more than one million sleep apnea, BiPAP, and ventilator machines due to a toxic chemical that can be released and cause severe health issues. It has been over one year since the massive Philips breathing machine recall was initiated. One year later, patients are still waiting for their machine’s repairs or replacements. Many patients continue to use the recalled breathing machines even though there are serious health risks.
Philips Respironics administered the worldwide recall in June of 2021 due to the severe health risks connected to the devices’ noise-abatement foam. The Food and Drug Administration says that the noise-abatement foam allegedly degrades and releases cancer-causing particles. Philips Respironics recommends that users speak to their medical provider to determine what they should do. Philips Respironics recommends that patients:
- Stop using the device, and
- continue to use the recalled machine only when your doctor has decided the benefits outweigh the risks.
The affected machines’ model names and numbers can be located on the FDA’s website. Philips also sent recall announcement letters to purchasers. The letters contain instructions for registering breathing machines to have them repaired or replaced. Recall information and updates are on the Philips website. Philips states that your physician can recommend alternative therapies such as sleeping on your side, using oral appliances, or positional therapy.
Philips has identified all of the potential health hazards of using their recalled machines: airway inflammation, coughing, chest pressure, skin, asthma, eye, headaches, sinus infection, and carcinogenic effects. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to other health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, your doctor should be able to help you determine your risk for continuing to use the recalled breathing machine versus not using a breathing device. If a patient cannot discontinue the use of their recalled device or another device is unavailable, their doctor should weigh the comorbidities, severity of symptoms, and all risks concerning stopping the therapy. Patients are also instructed to mitigate sleep apnea symptoms by losing weight, exercising, and avoiding drinking alcohol.
Patients who have a recalled breathing machine are upset and are complaining in online support groups that their recalled devices have not been repaired or replaced as promised. A few medical equipment companies are able to replace a recalled unit with a different unit that is not part of the recall. Patients may also contact their insurance provider and ask if they will purchase a new machine.
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