Philadelphia Philips CPAP Machines Lawyer
CPAP machines have exploded in popularity as a way to treat obstructive sleep apnea, helping people get a good night’s rest, reduce snoring and avoid potentially serious complications from sleep disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and liver dysfunction. Unfortunately, if the CPAP machines are not designed or built correctly, they can do more harm than good and cause serious, even life-threatening injuries of their own.
As a case in point, the popular CPAP maker Philips Respironics has recently recalled well over a dozen models of its CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices. Learn more about the dangers of these devices below, and contact an experienced defective medical device injury lawyer if you or a loved one has been harmed from using a defective CPAP machine. Call the unsafe Philadelphia philips CPAP machines lawyers at Green & Schafle for a no-cost consultation on your case.
What Is a CPAP?
A CPAP device is a machine that delivers continuous positive airway pressure to people while they sleep. This device is intended to treat sleep disorders like sleep apnea where a person’s breathing during sleep is paused or interrupted. By delivering a steady stream of oxygen into the sleeper’s nose and mouth, the CPAP keeps the airways open.
CPAP users place a mask that is sealed over their nose and mouth. The mask is connected to a compressor motor via a flexible tube. The machine is also fitted with an air filter that helps ensure only purified air is delivered to the user.
All CPAP machines contain these same basic elements, although they differ in the type of mask and other design features. While a CPAP delivers air at a continuous, preset air pressure level, other machines deliver airflow differently. An automatic positive airflow pressure (APAP) machine adjusts the air pressure throughout the night based on the user’s breathing pattern. A Bi-level positive airflow pressure (BiPAP) device has different pressure settings for inhaling and exhaling and is more commonly used by people suffering from central sleep apnea as opposed to obstructive sleep apnea.
A ventilator is another type of machine that helps people breathe who cannot breathe on their own or require mechanical assistance to breathe properly, even while awake. Ventilators are life-saving and life-preserving devices that may be used in conjunction with a heart attack or stroke, pneumonia, paralysis, and many other conditions, as well as during or after surgery. Ventilators have entered the public consciousness during the COVID-19 epidemic, as people debilitated with the disease sometimes need ventilator assistance while being treated in the hospital.
CPAP and BiPAP Devices and Ventilators Under Urgent Medical Device Recall
On June 14, 2021, Philips Respironics issued an urgent medical device recall of certain models of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP or BiPAP), and mechanical ventilator devices. The defect in these devices leading to the recall involves the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam used to reduce the sounds and vibrations these machines produce while in operation. In the affected devices, the PE-PUR foam can break down into black debris particles that get pushed into the user’s mouth and swallowed. The foam is also known to “off-gas” certain toxic chemicals, releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) inside the device that get inhaled by the user. Users who ingest these particles or inhale these gases can be seriously injured.
The recalled devices include the following CPAP and BiPAP devices manufactured between 2009 and April 26, 2021:
- E30 (Emergency Use Authorization)
- DreamStation ASV
- DreamStation ST, AVAPS
- SystemOne ASV4
- C Series ASV
- C Series S/T and AVAPS
- OmniLab Advanced Plus
- SystemOne (Q Series)
- DreamStation Go
- Dorma 400
- Dorma 500
- REMstar SE Auto
In addition, Philips has also recalled the following Ventilators manufactured between 2009 and April 26, 2021:
- Trilogy 100 Ventilator
- Trilogy 200 Ventilator
- Garbin Plus, Aeris, LifeVent
- A-Series BiPAP Hybrid A30 (not marketed in the U.S.)
- A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto
- A-Series BiPAP A40
- A-Series BiPAP A30
What to Do With Your CPAP or BiPAP Device
If you use one of the above-listed CPAP or BiPAP machines, or if you are a caregiver tending to a person using one of these machines, the FDA urges you to consult with a health care provider regarding whether to stop using the device and use another similar device that is not part of the recall or try alternative sleep apnea treatments that do not require a CPAP or BiPAP machine. These could include positional therapy or oral appliances or initiating long-term therapies to remove the conditions that may be causing the sleep apnea, including losing weight, avoiding alcohol, stopping smoking, or surgical options in some cases. The FDA also notes that it is possible your health care provider would recommend continuing to use the affected device if the doctor determines that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Philips recommends you immediately stop using your CPAP or BiPAP and look for alternatives for continued treatment. If using one of the recalled ventilators, you are requested not to stop treatment until discussing with your doctor first, since ventilator use may be for life-sustaining therapy or cases where disrupting therapy would not acceptable. You are also urged to register your device on the recall website www.philips.com/src-updates. Registering your device will help you receive whatever corrective action Philips is contemplating for the recall, such as a repair or replacement of the device, but it won’t compensate you for any damages if you were injured by a faulty CPAP machine. For that, you’ll need to get an attorney and file a lawsuit.
CPAP Litigation Is Already Underway In Pennsylvania
Thousands of people across the country have already filed lawsuits against Philips Respironics, alleging the company knew about the problem with the PE-PUR foam but hid that knowledge and misrepresented the product in sales and marketing. Much of this litigation has been consolidated into what is known as a multi-district litigation, or MDL. Rather than tie up the courts with thousands of individual cases across the country that all have the same basic factual questions and legal issues, the courts bring all the cases together in an MDL. This process can help the parties reach one global settlement without a trial. If they can’t be settled, the cases go back to their home courts, where a few exemplary cases are tried first. These are called bellwether trials and give the parties an idea about whether the plaintiffs or defendants are likely to prevail and how large the verdicts are likely to be. This information can help the parties settle the remaining cases without trying them all.
An MDL regarding the Philips CPAP litigation has been established in the federal court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This MDL is known as MDL 3014 In Re: Phillips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level Pap, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Litigation. These cases all include common questions of fact, making them appropriate for an MDL. Pennsylvania was chosen as a convenient forum since the devices are manufactured here, and many of the parties and witnesses are located here.
Get Legal Help Now With CPAP Injury Claims in Philadelphia
As of February 2022, there are over one hundred cases included in the MDL class action, although the number of lawsuits might grow into the thousands before it is all over. It is not too late to join the MDL or file your own lawsuit against Philips. By Philips’ own admission in the recall, these defective devices can cause serious, life-threatening injury or permanent impairment, including organ damage and “toxic and carcinogenic effects.”
If you used or are using one of the recalled devices listed above, talk to your doctor right away about discontinuing use and finding an alternative form of treatment. To learn more about your legal rights and potential claim for compensation, call Green & Schafle at 215-462-3330 for a free consultation. Our experienced defective medical device lawyers will advise you on your legal options and help you get the maximum compensation available.