Philips, the Dutch medical equipment company, is recalling millions of ventilators and sleep apnea machines because of a foam part that could degrade and turn toxic, potentially causing cancer. The product recall applies to Philip’s Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP) and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and mechanical ventilators. These devices treat sleep apnea, a relatively common condition that occurs when the upper airway becomes obstructed during sleep. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sleep apnea afflicts approximately 25% of men and 10% of women. It can affect people of all ages but is especially common among people who are overweight or over age 50.

The polyurethane foam used to absorb noise can degrade and emit small particles that irritate airways. Degradation of the foam in these devices may be exacerbated by high heat and humidity. Improper cleaning methods could also affect the foam’s breakdown. While Philips has not received any reports of fatalities due to foam degradation or injuries due to chemical off-gassing, there are side effects that you could experience from foam degradation, such as:

  • Skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritation
  • Chest Pressure
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sinus infection
  • Inflammatory response
  • Asthma
  • Adverse effects to organs, such as liver failure and kidney failure
  • Toxic carcinogenic effects leading to cancers, such as lung cancer

Possible side effects of chemical off-gassing include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Toxic carcinogenic effects

If you are suffering from these side effects, see a doctor as soon as you can. If these side effects were caused by a Philips product, you could be entitled to financial compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of a defective product, contact an experienced defective product attorney at OnderLaw by calling for your free consultation. We will explain all your rights and legal options.

Philips has received complaints from about 0.03% of devices sold in 2020. Owners of the Philips C-PAP and Bi-Level PAP machines, which make up approximately 80% of the devices recalled, have been asked to stop using the devices and to consult with their doctor for an alternative.

Philips has not received any reports regarding the effects of chemical emissions and no fatalities have been reported from the use of these devices. However, because Philips has received reports of possible patient impact due to foam degradation, the company has decided to voluntarily issue a recall notification. They are letting patients and customers know of the potential health risks. Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips, said 3-4 million are included in the recall.

CPAP Machines Subject to Recall

The Philips medical devices subject to the recall are:

  • All Philips CPAP devices manufactured before April 26, 2021
  • All Philips BiLevel PAP devices manufactured before April 26, 2021
  • E30 model continuous ventilator, minimum ventilatory support for facility use
  • DreamStation non-life supporting continuous ventilator models ASV, ST, and AVAPS
  • SystemOne ASV4 model continuous ventilators, non-life supporting
  • C Series continuous ventilator, non-life supporting models ASV, S/T, and AVAPS
  • OmniLab Advanced Plus in-lab titration device
  • SystemOne Q series models of non-continuous ventilators
  • DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, and BiPAP ventilator models
  • DreamStation Go CPAP and APAP models of non-continuous ventilators
  • Dorma 400 and 500 CPAP models of non-continuous ventilators
  • REMStar SE Auto CPAP models of non-continuous ventilators
  • The Trilogy 100, Trilogy 200, Garbin Plus, Aeris, and LifeVent continuous ventilators
  • The A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto and Hybrid A30 continuous ventilators for minimum ventilatory support for facility use
  • A-Series BiPAP A30 and A40 non-life supporting continuous ventilators (sold outside the U.S.)

Dangerous or defective ventilators and sleep apnea machines can give rise to a product liability claim. Medical devices can improve the health and well-being of millions of people in the United States, but when those devices do more harm than good, it’s time to consult an experienced attorney. To find out if you are entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses resulting from your use of the device, call OnderLaw today.

What If I Believe a Foam Degradation Caused My Cancer?

It’s currently difficult to say exactly how common the health risks are from the use of these defective Philips devices. If you have used one of these devices, don’t panic. It’s recommended that you talk about the Philips CPAP recall with a physician. Talking to your doctor is especially important if you have seen degradation of the foam components of your device. If you are experiencing health issues that you believe could be related to the recalled device, talk to your doctor about that as well. Your doctor may recommend you get screened for the cancers that are thought to be caused by exposure to the particles and gases emitted from the foam.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and you think it may be due to using the CPAP machine, talk to your doctor about your concerns. After you’ve discussed all your concerns with a doctor, consider consulting a skilled and experienced attorney.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

Although medical devices have improved the health of countless patients, when they are defective, these devices could cause serious illness or injury. If a company produces and sells a defective or dangerous medical device, it can end up injuring people they are supposed to be helping. If you’ve suffered health issues due to your use of Philips CPAP devices, you may be entitled to financial compensation. OnderLaw is committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve as we hold companies accountable for their negligence.

The skilled and experienced attorneys at OnderLaw will be able to determine if you have a viable claim against Philips. We are accepting cases from throughout the country. States have what’s known as a statute of limitations, which is a time limit on how long you have to pursue a legal claim. If the deadline passes, you may lose your right to compensation. This is why it’s important that you consult our lawyers about a lawsuit against Philips as soon as possible.

Contact Us Today

If you have developed cancer due to a defective Philips Bi-Level PAP or CPAP machine, you might be eligible for financial compensation. Call OnderLaw today for a free and confidential consultation, during which you can learn more about your rights and legal options.

Philips CPAP FAQs

Who qualifies for CPAP lawsuit?

If you have used a Philips CPAP, BPAP, or mechanical ventilator and were subsequently diagnosed with cancer or respiratory problems, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. Philips recalled millions of CPAP, BPAP, and mechanical ventilators in 2021 after they were found to have design defects that exposed users to cancer-causing substances. The recall affected millions of these machines manufactured between 2009 and April 26, 2021. 

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are often prescribed to individuals with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening disorder. CPAP machines provide air pressure to ensure airways stay open, which can help sleep apnea sufferers breathe easier. 

Similarly, BPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machines also transmit air pressure to keep the wearer’s breathing airways open. The key difference between CPAP machines and BPAP machines is that the former conveys consistent levels of air pressure, while the latter increases the outflow of air pressure when the wearer breathes in. 

Philips CPAP lawsuits, as well as cases involving recalled BPAPs and mechanical ventilators, revolve around a specific design defect in the foam liners on these machines. These machines feature liners made of polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam. PE-PUR foam can degenerate into inhalable particles that go into your lungs and bloodstream. Some users have reported finding black debris or particles inside their machines from PE-PUR foam disintegration.   

In addition to disintegrating into damaging, inhalable particles, PE-PUR foam can also release a dangerous chemical into the air that is extremely toxic for humans to breathe. Some of the recalled Philips machines have also been found to release dangerous quantities of formaldehyde into the air, which is a carcinogen and has been linked to various cancers. 

What evidence is needed to support a claim in the Philips CPAP lawsuit?

You should preserve any and all evidence related to your Philips CPAP machine, as well as diagnosis and treatment for subsequent medical issues. Philips CPAP lawsuits are being filed by hundreds of patients who have been diagnosed with cancer or other respiratory problems after using these machines. 

Cancers that have been linked to prolonged Philips CPAP usage include:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Nasal cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Salivary cancer
  • Tongue cancer
  • Multiple myeloma

Patients who have filed these lawsuits have also cited other illnesses, including pulmonary fibrosis, lung inflammation and scarring, chronic asthma, and liver and kidney damage.  

In addition to the actual CPAP machine or other recalled breathing device, notes from your doctor, prescription records, purchase records, and receipts confirming your usage of the device could be critical forms of evidence. Actual particles showing the breakdown of the PE-PUR foam can also be used as evidence. 

Other forms of evidence that could prove valuable for your case may include:

  • Medical records
  • Bloodwork results
  • Diagnostic records
  • CT (computed tomography
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, photos, and videos

Any of this evidence could be used to link your usage of the defective Philips breathing machine to your subsequent diagnosis. Besides citing an inherently flawed design, some claimants are also filing cases asserting that these devices had marketing or manufacturing defects. 

How much is the CPAP lawsuit going to payout?

The value of your prospective case will be unique to the injuries and damages you sustained. Philips recently settled a class action lawsuit related to its CPAP machines for $479 million. It has set aside another $630 million to pay the growing number of claims being filed by injured consumers. That figure could increase with time as litigation is ongoing, and the number of claims is rapidly mounting.  

However, the value of each case will depend on the damages of that specific plaintiff (the injured consumer who is filing the lawsuit). You could be eligible to recover the value of your past and future lost wages, pain, suffering, past and future medical bills, emotional anguish, and more. 

How long will it take to settle the CPAP lawsuit?

Any lawsuit can take anywhere from months to years to settle or conclude. The trajectory of your Philips CPAP case will depend on numerous factors, including the severity of your injuries and losses, the damages you are claiming, and the evidence available for your specific claim. CPAP lawsuits are being heard through a specific legal process known as multidistrict litigation, which is often used when a particular product hurts a large group of consumers. 

In multidistrict litigation, the cases are transferred to be heard through a single federal court, even though claimants may be from across the country. Because the number of claimants is so vast in these cases, multidistrict litigation allows each injured party to have their case heard without clogging up the court system. 

Multidistrict litigation is not the same as a class action lawsuit. Even though these types of actions are similar in that they involve large groups of consumers whom the same event has injured, a class action involves all claims being put into a single lawsuit where any settlement or final court award must be split between the claimants. In the case of multidistrict litigation, while these cases are consolidated for part of the legal process, the lawsuits remain separate, and each individual receives compensation according to the damages they claim. 

Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit against Philips for the defective CPAP machines?

The deadline for filing a defective CPAP lawsuit against Philips will revolve around multiple factors, including the statute of limitations for product liability claims in your state. Missouri’s filing window is five years from when the injury occurred. However, numerous elements can impact the statute of limitations for your case, so you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to determine what your legal options are and what time constraints apply to your potential claim.