Philips Respironics has recalled millions of units of its CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices because of potential risks of illness, including cancer and other life-threatening conditions to users. The recall was initiated after it was disclosed that polyester-based polyurethane sound abatement foam, which was used to reduce sound and vibration in these recalled devices, could break down. Black debris from the foam or certain chemicals released into the device’s air pathway may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device. In addition to being a possible risk of cancer, the defective machines may cause other illnesses, among them respiratory tract inflammation, asthma, hypersensitivity, and kidney or liver damage.
The recall was first announced this past June and Philips announced in August that it had begun sending registered letters about the recall to buyers. There have been more than 1,200 complaints filed about Philips PAP (positive airway pressure) machines and at least 100 reported injuries among people using the devices at home, in hospitals, and other institutions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration identified the recall by Philips as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall.
The recall includes devices sold globally over 13 years, which includes an estimated three to four million units, with more than half reportedly sold in the United States.
Kline & Specter, PC, is handling Philips CPAP and BiPAP cases, with free evaluations offered to those who believe they or a loved one were injured by one of the devices. The law firm has won more than $10 billion in personal injury verdicts and settlements and has more than 40 attorneys, including five who are also medical doctors, the most for any law firm in the United States.