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Following the recent recall of about four million Philips CPAP and Bi-PAP machines, an Oregon professional truck driver has filed a new class-action lawsuit against the company, seeking damages because of interruption to his sleep apnea treatment. He seeks to represent all others similarly situated throughout the country and in Oregon, specifically.

Plaintiff Can’t Do His Job Without a Functioning BiPAP Machine

According to his complaint, the plaintiff was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2020. This is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Without treatment, it can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and may increase the risk of a traffic accident as well as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems.

The plaintiff’s doctor prescribed him a Philips BiPAP machine in 2020 to treat his sleep apnea. He is a professional truck driver and as such, is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations to prove that he is using the BiPAP machine as prescribed by his doctor to continue to work his job.

Because of the recently announced recall, the plaintiff has been forced to stop using his Philips BiPAP machine. He does not have a replacement machine readily available, and Philips has not supplied one, so he has had to stop work because he cannot drive as a professional truck driver with untreated sleep apnea.

The plaintiff also claims that he has gone into atrial fibrillation because he is no longer able to get sufficient sleep without the use of an appropriate device to help him breathe properly. He demands a refund, replacement with a non-defective device, costs for ongoing medical monitoring, and all other appropriate damages.

Philips Recalls Machines Due to Potential Foam Degradation

Philips’ flagship CPAP/BiPAP machine product family is known as the “DreamStation” family line, which includes the original DreamStation, launched in October 2015, and the DreamStation Go, a travel version. Philips sells these products through its subsidiary Respironics, which it acquired in 2008.

Many of these machines contain PE-PUR foam for sound abatement. Owing to the design of the machines, air passes through this foam before it is pumped into the patient’s airway.

On April 26, 2021, Philipps announced the recall of some of its ventilators, BiPAP, and CPAP machines because the sound-abatement foam could break down and potentially enter the device’s air pathway. The degradation of the foam could also produce toxic chemicals. A patient using the device could then inhale or ingest the debris and/or chemicals.

At the time of the recall, Philipps did not recommend immediate product replacements. Instead, the company advised doctors and patients to evaluate the devices for any evidence of foam degradation and to consider using an alternative treatment.

Philips has also announced the launch of the DreamStation 2, a next-generation CPAP machine that does not use the problematic foam. The company noted that it will speed up the production of this machine as part of its recall remedy efforts.

31 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Michael Creed
    Michael Creed

    My husband heard of the re-call from a friend at work and has not been using hos Phillips or anything for that matter. Why has he not received any notification from Phillips’s?

    Concerned

    Pam Creed

    1. Gravatar for Joann
      Joann

      My husband has been using the Phillips Dreamstation for almost 2 years. What disgusts me the most is that “I” found this while online looking at something else, NOT from Phillips who KNEW about this and never contacted it’s customers!!!! Horrible! I will never trust Phillips company ever again!

      1. Gravatar for Cathy Bronson
        Cathy Bronson

        I found out about this on Facebook . I never received notice from Philips or anyone else! It’s disturbing that we will have to monitor our health forever for possible issues due to our Philips machines!

      2. Gravatar for LJ
        LJ

        PHILIPS NOTIFIED THE FDA, PHYCIANS, AND DME, WHO IN TURN ARE TO NOTIFY THEIR PATIENTS AND CONSUMERS. SO IF YOU HAVE NOT RECIEVED NOTIFICATION YET YOU MIGHT WANT TO TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND YOUR SUPPLY HOUSE.

      3. Gravatar for Michael
        Michael

        I know this is a bit late. I found out about this online as well. My Doctor (I don't know about yours) doesn't do any of the CPaP stuff. I was sent to a sleep study and after that showed I had some issues. I was sent to a Respiratory Service supplier and they are the ones that handle all my CPaP stuff and supplies as well. They are the ones that took down the information on the machine when it was given to me (by them). Obviously it wasn't "given" it was paid for but you know what I mean. So in my case they are the ones that would have been contacted by Philips (they are an authorized dealer). They never contacted me about the recall. They have called twice to see if I need supplies since the recall started.

        Oh and they told my Doctors office to tell people if the machine was still working to tell them to keep using it and if it wasn't working to not use (wtf?). So I blinked at my Doctor and said what? My Doctor said they said there would be obvious problem like a broken seal. I told my Doctor that maybe they should watch some videos on the actual problem.

        Oh and would you believe I was was just diagnosed with Papillary Carcinoma last week (results from biopsy). Might not be related but that timing...

      4. Gravatar for Steve
        Steve

        It's been super quit. I called in and reported mine right away after I heard of the recall but no responce. It sucks for people relying on there machines and it is a medical problem! I'm let down because I depend on my philips cpap machine.

      5. Gravatar for Tamara Haney
        Tamara Haney

        I'm in the same situation. I had no idea of the recall until I called my medical equipment provider to check on a replacement machine. My CPAP's door wont shut anymore and they told me since it is being recalled, I can't get a replacement. So...not only do I have a broken machine (that I can rig up to at least work) but I cant get a new one and I am advised to not even use the broken one either. I'm pretty darn sure I will be a miserable non functioning zombie without a CPAP for a night...or up to a year as I've been told. Will my heart even hold out that long? Geeze...

    2. Gravatar for mic
      mic

      I have used mine for three years and also an ozone cleaning unit. I only received my recall letter the end of July from my home health agency. I'm not sure what took them so long as Philips stated that they let customers know mid June. I'm disgusted to think that I could have been breathing in toxic fumes for years. How can I trust this company? My insurance tells me that I'm stuck with Philips for 2 more years as I have a 5 year contract!

  2. Gravatar for Joseph Foelker
    Joseph Foelker

    Great job, i am a cpap user as well. My machine was on the recall list. And my medical supplier is not replacing the machine, please keep me informed

  3. Gravatar for Peter
    Peter

    Keep me updated

  4. Gravatar for Carol Baker
    Carol Baker

    I just found out last night about this recall. I have headaches sore throats irritation etc. my DME provider has never notified me. I have sleep apnea and am so troubled. Do I stop using the machine which I need every night or continue?

  5. Gravatar for Patrick Noonan
    Patrick Noonan

    I have a Philips Dream Station I purchased one year ago and it’s still under warranty. I have contacted Philips and registered a case. So far nothing! I still have no solution which should be for Philips to issue me a Dream Station 2.

  6. Gravatar for Angela H
    Angela H

    I've been using the Dreamstation for 3 years now and I had noticed small particles in the water prior to the recall months before and wonder if that was foam now?! I just dumped the water like I always did, rinsed it out and used it at nite. I have obstructive sleep apnea, snore terribly which I hate to admit and need to use the CPAP machine. I already suffer with high blood pressure, don't need anything else and need this machine. Without the machine it can be more harmful to my overall health because I am unable to get sufficient sleep, am tired all the time, have constant sore throats, coughing lately (not sick) and definitely am not breathing properly either. I feel out of breath all the time, have ongoing headaches because of not using the CPAP and my blood test has some sketchy things in it that need to be evalulated and am wondering if it is because of this. Is there going to be a nationwide lawsuit for compensation or further information? I need the replacement ASAP, it is detrimental to my health and others.

  7. Gravatar for Mike Pinchuk
    Mike Pinchuk

    I have been using the Philips Dreamstation for very mild sleep apnea for almost 3 years. I have a CDL physical coming up and the doctor will not pass me if I can't provide a 90 day compliance report due to the fact I'm not using the machine. Without the CDL medical card, I can't legally drive. What now?

  8. Gravatar for Edward K
    Edward K

    I have Bradycardia. My cardiologist prescribed this cpap machine to keep me oxygenated. However, I have been experiencing a sore throat, waking with a headache and not rested. Even after following the directions to clean the machine, hose and replace filters and the mask itself, I can smell a "funky" oder. Maybe this degradation of the foam is the cause.

  9. Gravatar for Jim T
    Jim T

    I have acute obstructive sleep apnea and have been using the Dreamstation for several years. I have noticed small, black particles in the water off and on for about a year prior to the recall but didn't think anything of it (just dumped the water, dried, and refilled). I have always used the SoClean machine to clean my CPAP. During the past 4-6 months prior to the recall, I would wake up at night with my heart pounding out of my chest and not being able to catch a full breath. My lungs have been sore and heavy feeling. I have been worked up by the cardiologist twice this year alone and while heart health is good my heartbeat is abnormal. Lung scan showed no PE's. Have not seen a pulmonologist but finding out about the recall over the weekend, and confirming that my device is on the list, suggests that might not be a bad idea.

  10. Gravatar for Terry Foss
    Terry Foss

    I have had my CPAP machine for 3 years, now a recall, Medicare will not do anything for me until my5 years is up! So social sercuity won’t help either!

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