In June, Philips Respironics issued a major recall affecting millions of its CPAP devices, including its popular DreamStation line. The sudden announcement threw many for a loop, and left them uncertain as to what they should do next.
Now that we are several months removed from the initial recall announcement, there have been additional developments that Philips Respironics users should be aware of.
A Refresher on the Recall
The Philips Respironics recall was issued for several CPAP and BiPAP devices manufactured before April 26, 2021, including all DreamStation devices (including the DreamStation GO) and the System One 50 series and 60 series. Several ventilators, including the Trilogy 100 and Trilogy 200, were also affected.
The recall was issued after it was discovered that sound abatement foam used in these devices would degrade over time, particularly after exposure to conditions of high heat and humidity. The foam particles would actually get into the user’s tube, meaning they could be exposed to the foam particulates while using the device.
Though Philips Respironics had not received reports of serious health issues at the time the recall was issued, the list of potential side effects clearly presented a cause for concern. In addition to skin and respiratory irritation, headache, and asthma, exposure to the degraded foam is believed to have potential carcinogenic affects, as well as the potential for harm to the kidneys and liver.
Due to the seriousness of these side effects, Philips Resprionics recommended that all individuals using affected CPAP and BiPAP devices stop using them immediately. Only those who were using a life-sustaining ventilation device were advised to continue use, though they were strongly encouraged to consult with a physician regarding their treatment.
For many CPAP users, this meant they were suddenly without a way to control their sleep apnea. However, Philips Respironics offered to replace or repair all affected units for its customers as part of the recall.
Unfortunately, things haven’t necessarily improved since the recall was first issued. Philips Respironics began its process of repairing and replacing devices in September. However, due to the sheer volume of affected devices and ongoing supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected to take up to 12 months before all devices have been repaired or replaced. In fact, the FDA has included CPAP and BiPAP machines on its current device shortage list.
The FDA has also updated the recall to a Class I recall — the most serious recall designation possible.
Unsurprisingly, several class action lawsuits have also been filed against Philips Respironics as a result of this recall. Notably, suits have also been filed regarding Philips Respironics’ claim that ozone CPAP cleaners were largely to blame for the foam degradation. These suits from CPAP cleaning device manufacturers argue that a flawed design from Philips Respironics is the actual culprit.
What to Do if Your Device Was Impacted
If you haven’t already, Philips Respironics users should confirm whether their device model is indeed impacted by the recall. If this is the case, you can register for the recall either online or by calling the company at (877) 907-7508.
Please be aware that whether you bought your Philips Respironics device from No Insurance Medical Supplies or another retailer, you should contact Philips Respironics to handle your recall claim. They will handle all aspects of the recall, including shipping in your affected device and getting a replacement sent to you.
Of course, for individuals who suffer from severe sleep apnea that interferes with daily life, simply stopping use of a CPAP machine will hardly seem like a viable option. Many people can’t afford to go months without this necessary treatment. Of course, continuing to use one of the recalled devices also presents its own potential health risks.
Your best option is to consult with your doctor to get a personalized recommendation based on your own sleep apnea needs and risk profile. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision so you can better balance the potential risks or benefits of different treatment decisions.
For many, the simplest and best option will be to purchase a new CPAP device from a different manufacturer. Only Philips Respironics has experienced this issue, so devices from other manufacturers would be safe to use. Of course, this also comes with its own challenges, as insurance companies typically only cover a new CPAP device purchase after five years. While there is nothing preventing you from buying new equipment, you may not get the financial support from your insurance company that you’d like — even with the ongoing recall.
Get Quality Equipment From No Insurance Medical Supplies
At No Insurance Medical Supplies, we understand how alarming it can be to learn that a device you depend on every night to manage sleep apnea could be putting your health at risk. While we are no longer selling Philips Respironics products that are under recall status, we still offer CPAP equipment from several other reputable brands.
CPAP and BiPAP machines from companies such as ResMed and Fisher and Paykel are still readily available, providing a suitable replacement for your recalled device. And while your insurance may not cover the cost of this replacement, we make it easier to manage with available no-interest financing on all purchases over $500, as well as discounted prices on many CPAP machines.
Time will tell what happens with the Philips Respironics recall. But until then, continuing to mitigate your obstructive sleep apnea doesn’t have to go by the wayside.