Sleep apnea is a serious sleep and breathing disorder that can have catastrophic health consequences. Countless individuals with the condition have turned to CPAP and BiPAP devices manufactured by Philips and others to help protect them while sleeping, facilitating steady, clear breathing and a good night’s rest.
Unfortunately, those same CPAP and BiPAP devices that were designed to protect people are causing illness and injury, so much so that Philips recalled three to four million of their devices in June 2021 because they contained materials that could cause “serious injury which can be life-threatening or cause permanent impairment.”
At Berman & Simmons, our New England defective medical device attorneys work with individuals and families who have suffered harm caused by Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices. Our lawyers are widely acknowledged as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine. With our unmatched resources and exceptional legal talent, we have obtained several of the largest jury verdicts and settlements in Maine, recovering over $1 billion in damages for our personal injury clients, including clients who suffered health problems from defective and dangerous medical devices.
What Are Philips CPAP and BiPAP Devices?
The most common device prescribed to treat sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, sends a steady, constant flow of oxygen into the patient’s mouth and nose while they sleep, keeping the airway open and helping them breathe through the night.
A CPAP machine uses a motor or compressor to generate a steady stream of pressurized air that moves through an air filter into a flexible tube. This tube then sends the air into a mask sealed around the nose and mouth, keeping oxygen flowing into the lungs.
In addition to CPAP devices, two other types of machines – BiPAP and APAP devices – are used by sleep apnea patients to help them breathe normally while sleeping. A BiPAP (bi-level positive airflow pressure) device uses two separate pressure settings for inhalation and exhalation. BiPAP devices may come with a backup respiratory rate to help patients with central sleep apnea.
An APAP (automatic positive airflow pressure) device monitors breathing throughout the night, automatically adjusting air pressure as needed in response to a change of sleeping position or compensating for medication effects that may impact breathing
The Problem With Philips CPAP and BiPAP Devices
The problem with recalled Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices relates primarily to the foam they contain to reduce noise. This polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) can break down and disintegrate and then be inhaled or ingested while “outgassing” volatile carcinogenic compounds that can adversely affect vital organs and cause a wide range of other health problems, including cancer.
Philips recalled the devices in June 2021 after receiving several complaints about the presence of black debris and particles within the device’s air pathway, as well as reports of headache, upper airway irritation, cough, chest pressure, and sinus infection. All of these relate to the breakdown of PE-PUR foam and the inhalation and release of particles and chemicals into the devices’ air pathways that the user then ingests.
In an alert issued shortly after the Philips recall, the U.S Food Administration (FDA) warned that the foregoing issues “can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.”
Health Risks and Injuries Associated With Philips CPAP and BiPAP Devices
Philips reports the following potential health risks caused by PE-PUR foam degradation in its recalled CPAP and Bi-PAP devices:
Particulate Exposure Health Risks
- Possible carcinogenic effects (cancer).
- Possible toxic effects.
- Respiratory issues.
- Adverse effects to liver, kidneys, and other organs.
- Irritation of eye, skin, and respiratory tract.
Off-Gassing Health Risks
Potential health risks linked to off-gassing, or the release of volatile organic compounds and other harmful chemicals in vapor form, include:
- Possible carcinogenic effects (cancer).
- Possible toxic effects.
- Irritation of eye, nose, skin, and respiratory tract.
How Berman and Simmons Can Help You
Since the recall of Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices, evidence has emerged, and lawsuits have been filed alleging that Philips knew the risks posed by PE-PUR foam degradation, concealed that information from the public, and failed to act expeditiously to get these dangerous devices off the market.
Berman and Simmons is currently investigating and pursuing claims on behalf of individuals who have suffered adverse health consequences from using Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices. If you have been injured, including receiving a diagnosis of lung damage or cancer, we will use all our experience, dedication, and resources to obtain the compensation you need and deserve, including damages for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Contact Berman & Simmons Today for Your Free Consultation
For over 100 years, countless personal injury victims in Maine and throughout New England have placed their trust in the lawyers of Berman & Simmons to help them through the challenges that follow a serious injury. With compassion, commitment, and legal excellence, we get our clients the maximum amount of compensation available for their injuries and damages. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you and your family.
Maine has strict statutes of limitations for filing medical device lawsuits, so it is critically important that you reach out to us as soon as possible if you suspect that any complications or health problems you have experienced may be related to your use of a Philips CPAP or BiPAP machine.
Please contact the Maine defective medical device lawyers at Berman & Simmons today at 866-664-2403 to arrange your free consultation. You pay nothing unless we obtain compensation for you by settlement or jury verdict. We welcome the opportunity to assist you.
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