Philips Respironics has recalled millions of units of its continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP), and mechanical ventilator because of possible carcinogenic and toxic effects of a foam used in the devices that can escape as a gas or particulates and be inhaled or ingested by CPAP users and cause cancer, respiratory issues, or other significant health issues. In testing, Philips discovered that the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam it had used to dampen the sound of the devices can degrade into particles that can be in ingested or inhaled by the user. Ingesting or inhaling these particles is linked to:
Trustwell Law is accepting cases on behalf of people who used Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilators and developed cancer or a serious health issue.
Other Serious Health Issues include:
If you or a loved one developed cancer or a serious health issue after using a Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator and are considering filing a CPAP lawsuit, call us at 800-796-1636 or submit your case details online and someone will contact you shortly. You pay nothing unless your lawsuit is successful and you receive compensation.
At Trustwell Law, our experienced attorneys take a personalized, compassionate approach. We cut through the legalese and partner with our clients. We have access to the expertise, resources, and manpower to fully investigate each case and fight for and with our clients to get the justice they deserve.
Philips recalled their CPAPs because the machines contain polyurethane foam, which can degrade in the machine and then escape to be ingested or inhaled by the CPAP user. The American Cancer Society lists urethane as a probable human carcinogen based on determinations by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (“probably carcinogenic” in humans) and the National Toxicology Program (“reasonably anticipated” to cause cancer in humans). There is evidence that urethane exposure causes lung, liver, blood, and other cancers in animals.
Polyurethane is created by reacting the chemicals methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) with polyols (naturally occurring sugar alcohols). Both MDI and TDI must be handled very carefully, and TDI is a suspected carcinogen classified as very toxic. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that workers avoid exposure to TDI.
As a foam, polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) is considered safe. But the chemicals the foam gives off— as a gas or tiny particle—are dangerous to ingest or breathe. That is why Philips initiated the recall when they discovered that their CPAPs, BiPAPs, and ventilators could off-gas those chemicals and expose the CPAP users.
When the particulate foam is inhaled, it can cause difficulty breathing and even respiratory failure. Furthermore, if bacteria or fungus are breathed in with the foam, it can cause infection in the respiratory tract and lungs. In terms of off-gassing, breathing in isocyanates and other gases associated with polyurethane can cause lung irritation, and these chemicals are carcinogenic, which is why cancer is a concern.
In June 2021, Philips recalled millions of CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilators. In its announcement, Philips explained that testing had shown the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam used as a noise dampener in the recalled devices could present a risk to the users.
Philips’ announcement explained that the PE-PUR foam could degrade into tiny particles that could enter the device’s air pathway and be ingested or inhaled and that the foam could give off gases from certain chemicals. Philips further explained that using unapproved methods to clean the machines could make the foam degrade more quickly and that operating the machines in high-heat and high-humidity environments could also contribute to the foam degrading.
Philips listed the known risks from particulate exposure due to PE-PUR foam degradation as:
Philips reported the known risks of off-gassing include:
Affected devices, all serial numbers and all manufactured before April 26, 2021
Affected devices, all serial numbers and all manufactured before April 26, 2021
Philips’ announcement included recommendations for patients using these devices, directly quoted here:
For patients using life-sustaining mechanical ventilator devices:
For patients using Bi-Level PAP and CPAP devices:
Mechanical ventilators help patients breathe. They act like bellows—moving air into and out of the lungs. A patient on a mechanical ventilator may have a fitted mask or a breathing tube that goes into their lungs.
A mechanical ventilator sometimes provides short-term breathing support, for example during an operation, or when a patient has a critical illness, or when patients with significant problems breathing are transported by ambulance or helicopter. Mechanical ventilators may be needed for long-term use when patients have a chronic illness that makes breathing difficult.
Ventilators may be used to:
CPAP (which stands for continuous positive airway pressure) and BiPAP machines are commonly used to treat sleep apnea, a condition in which a person repeatedly starts and stops breathing during sleep. These machines do not include a breathing tube, and so may also be used to provide noninvasive breathing support for hospitalized patients in respiratory distress who do not want to be on a ventilator, or patients with neuromuscular weakness, such as those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Do you want to consult with an attorney because you or a loved one used one of the recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator devices are now experiencing significant related health issues, including cancer? Contact us for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Since the recall, patients diagnosed with cancer or serious respiratory problems after regularly using one of the recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator devices have sued Philips in state and federal courts seeking compensation for their injuries. These cases are still in their early stages, so there have been no outcomes announced.
In October 2021, the federal CPAP/BiPAP lawsuits were consolidated into one multi-district litigation in the Western District of Pennsylvania, which will handle all federal CPAP/BiPAP lawsuits going forward.
For details on the Philips CPAP/BiPAP MDL, visit our Philips CPAP Litigation Tracker.
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