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Cancer Concerns Amid Sleep Apnea Machine Recalls

cpap machine
By Michael LoGiudice
Founding Attorney

We depend on product manufacturers and developers to build products that are safe for intended use. This is why the law imposes a duty on companies to take reasonable care in the manufacturing and design of products so that they are reasonably safe for public use. When companies fail to uphold this duty, the consequences can be tragic. Sometimes, unsafe products make their way into the stream of commerce. People rely on them and are harmed as a result. It can be very scary. Take, for example, the recent recalls of Philips Sleep Apnea Machines due to the finding that these machines have been linked to causing certain types of cancer. We’ll talk more about this here.

Cancer Concerns Amid Sleep Apnea Machine Recalls

It has been discovered that the disintegrating polyurethane foam inside the breathing apparatus of the most commonly used Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Adaptive-Servo Ventilation (ASV), and Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-PAP) devices, manufactured by Philips, can put users at risk for cancers such as:

  • Lung cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Other lethal cancers

Millions of these devices have been recalled as a result. Despite the long known hazards of polyurethane, it was used in these breathing apparatuses. The substance has been found to be both toxic and dangerous, especially when you consider their use in breathing machines as it would mean air with carcinogens from the chemical would be brought directly into the body.

On June 14, 2021, Philips, a primary manufacturer of Bi-PAP and CPAP machines, issued a recall on the following products: 

  • SystemOne Q Series
  • DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, BiPAP
  • DreamStation GO CPAP and APAP
  • Dorma 400/500 CPAP
  • REMStar SE Auto CPAP
  • And more.

The recalled devices were all manufactured before April 26, 2021. It is estimated that 2 million breathing machines have been included in the recall.

The devices subject to the recall were intended to help treat sleep apnea and other respiratory problems. The polyester-based polyurethane used in the devices made up the PE-PUR patented sound abatement foam. As it turns out, the foam decomposes over time. In the decomposition process, a toxic gas is, in turn, emitted. The toxic gas has been linked to causing illnesses, and not just the cancers listed above. Those exposed to such toxic gas have become ill and developed side effects such as asthma, headaches, nausea, vomiting, respiratory issues, and cognitive problems.

Should you have a breathing device that has been included in this massive recall, Philips has instructed the immediate cessation of the machine’s use. Doctors should be consulted right away to find a safer alternative. For those using life-sustaining devices, physicians should be consulted regarding risks and what steps should be taken next. Physicians and patients should discuss the individual circumstances of their cases to make the best plan of action. In the meantime, Philips states that the company is already in the process of developing a replacement foam that will be safer to use.

Westchester Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been using one of the recalled Philips breathing machines and have been diagnosed with cancer or have been put at heightened risk of developing cancer, now is the time to explore your legal options. Attorney Michael LoGiudice is here to work on your behalf to help ensure you are properly compensated for any harm you have sustained as a result of these dangerously defective products. Contact us today.

About the Author
Michael LoGiudice handles all personal injury and medical malpractice claims. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1997) and has many verdicts and settlements totaling in the tens of millions of dollars.
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