Those suffering from sleep apnea are currently being faced with a tough choice – choosing between cancerous inhalants and healthy oxygen levels. Sleep apnea machines sold by Philips, which are meant to keep oxygen saturation levels up at night, were recalled because they are potentially emitting cancerous gas particles into the airways of its users.
Those suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing for brief periods hundreds of times a night. After receiving several complaints, Philips became concerned that a type of foam used to dampen the machines’ sound may degrade into particles that are then swallowed or inhaled by users causing headaches or breathing problems from the carcinogenic material and gases released by the foam.
Roughly two million people have been affected by this recall, and Philips has requested users to stop treatment and seek an alternative if possible. But the options for most users are slim, especially those on life-support ventilators included in the recall. These users are left with little to no recourse at this stage of the recall – there are no alternative machines or repairs to be had from Philips at this time. Philips has promised to repair or replace affected machines, but it is reported this will take around an entire year to do so.
In the meantime, prices from competitors have soared as people scramble to get safe machines not subject to the recall, and doctors have been inundated with concerns from patients for alternatives. Some have even resorted to modifying the machines themselves and removing the foam as best they can. For now, and at least another year, the majority of users are left with a difficult choice – breathing harmful gases and particles from the internal sound-dampening foam inside the machines or stopping using the machines. Both options place the users’ health at risk.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a recalled Philips ventilator, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or toll-free at 1‑800-870-9584.