Philips Respironics recalled millions of its breathing machines because of possible degradation of the material used to abate sound and vibration during operation. The machine is composed of polyurethane foam to keep it running quietly. However, it has been found that the foam can break down into black particles or toxic gas that can irritate the airways of the user, reversing its benefits. These particles are said to cause headache, inflammation, irritation, toxic and carcinogenic effect, as well as respiratory problems. A lot of victims have legal claims for lung injuries and cancer. The company recalled most of its DreamStation Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure or BiPAP machines designed for controlling sleep apnea. Also, they recalled some of its ventilators. The company advised patients to stop the use of their machines right away.
What are the Recalled Devices Use For?
Philips BiPAP and CPAP machines are used for treating sleep apnea, which is a condition that causes breathing issues to sufferers while asleep. When left untreated, sleep apnea can become severe and result in heart issues. BiPAP devices are designed to help with central sleep apnea, which occurs if the brain does not make the muscles breathe. A lot of CPAP machines treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes the throat muscles to relax. A BiPAP machine pumps pressurized air into the patient’s airway while a CPAP machine keeps the airway open by supplying a steady flow of oxygen through a mask. Meanwhile, ventilators are designed to help patients who can’t breathe on their own by delivering oxygenate gas continuously.
The machines’ foam component ensures they operate quietly while users sleep. Laboratory analysis of this material found that the foam may break down into small particles or toxic gas that can be inhaled or swallowed by patients. Inhalation of these toxins can lead to a permanent injury, impairment, or death.
What are the Legal Options for Victims?
Philips has been facing class-action suits from those affected by the recall. The lawsuits alleged that the company was aware of the problems because of the complaints they previously received from users and failed to rectify them. Complainants seek damages on the company’s breach of express and implied warranties as well as state consumer protection laws. Also, they are suing the company for misrepresentations and missions.
If you have been using any of the recalled machines, consult a skilled attorney to help you determine if you should pursue any legal action. A great lawyer can walk you through the process.