Standing Up For You

Sleep apnea device recall affects millions of patients

Sleep apnea is a breathing disease affecting an estimated 22 million Americans according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. With this condition, breathing repeatedly stops during sleep, an issue doctors commonly treat with a positive airway pressure machine.

A recent recall of the popular Philips Respironics continuous PAP affects an estimated 2 million Americans who have sleep apnea.

Issues with the Philips CPAP

Philips uses foam to stifle the noises produced by the machines.  During use, the foam breaks down into small particles that the user inhales into the lungs. The foam can cause various short-term and long-term health issues including cancer. High heat and humidity as well as the use of certain cleaning products accelerate the breakdown of the foam.

Affected individuals may experience allergic reactions, skin irritations, headaches, nausea, vomiting, eye irritation, and respiratory tract irritation. Eventually, they develop a chronic cough and shortness of breath. With long-term exposure, inhaling the foam increases the risk of asthma, kidney cancer, and liver cancer.

Recall terms

Philips Respironics has reported that patients can still use some affected models safely but should stop using other models. If your machine is part of the recall, seek advice from your physician to determine the best medical plan. Do not stop using the machine without talking to your doctor because untreated sleep apnea can have serious health consequences.

Philips Respironics will replace or repair any affected machine within 1 year. Patients can also contact Philips to register their device to go on a replacement waitlist. Registering the CPAP machine will also provide information in the event of future recalls.