Because of a June 2021 recall, many owners of Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices might be scrambling for alternatives. These Philips devices are linked to serious health conditions, including various types of cancer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued recommendations to avoid the use of these devices due to the associated health risks.
If you are an owner of a Philips CPAP device, it is important that you seek out other options. The good news is that there are several Philips CPAP alternatives on the market. If you are facing any health consequences after using a Philips CPAP device, it could be in your best interest to speak to an attorney.
Alternative CPAP Devices
People with sleep apnea whose CPAP devices are recalled must select a different CPAP model that does not come with the same ties to serious health conditions.
Philips is not the only company that manufactures CPAP devices. Other makers like ResMed and DeVilbiss have competing models that are not under recall. Some of the most popular options include:
- ResMed AirSense 10 CPAP
- Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine
- DeVilbiss IntelliPAP 2 AutoAdjust CPAP
- F&P SleepStyle Auto CPAP
Finally, there is the option to stick with Philips and take part in the company’s repair and replace program. As part of the recall, Philips agreed to repair or replace any CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator that uses the dangerous polyurethane foam. While this option might sound ideal, Philips made clear that the process could take years to complete.
With as many as four million devices impacted by the recall worldwide, there is no way to know how long it could take for the company to either repair a CPAP or replace it with a safer model.
Other Alternatives to Philips CPAP Devices
For many people, the only resolution to their sleep apnea is regular use of a CPAP device. However, not everyone is limited to a CPAP when looking at options for helping their sleep apnea. These options could include changes in your lifestyle, other medical devices, or surgical procedures.
Some individuals find they can address their sleep apnea by making important lifestyle changes like improving their diet or getting more exercise. It is important not to undertake this approach on your own. Consult with your doctor to ensure that making lifestyle changes is a viable option for your sleep apnea.
If your sleep apnea is severe, this approach might not be right for you. Mild sleep apnea might be resolved through these lifestyle changes, however. Some of the lifestyle changes to consider include:
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Using decongestants, nasal spray, or neti pots to improve breathing
- Quitting alcohol
- Sleeping on your side
- Trying a cervical pillow
- Increasing your exercise
There are also surgical options that could resolve sleep apnea. Following these procedures, the need for a CPAP device could be reduced or even eliminated. These procedures are also common when CPAP devices are ineffective in treating sleep apnea. Some procedures that could be useful as an alternative to a CPAP device include:
- Mandibular/maxillary advancement surgery. This process removes obstructions or abnormalities in the throat or face. This procedure is invasive, leaving it as a final option for many people.
- Hypoglossal nerve stimulators. This procedure involves the implantation of devices beneath the skin in the chest. Electrodes implanted in the neck stimulate a nerve that makes the tongue move in a way that prevents it from blocking the airway.
- Nasal surgery. Nasal surgery could remove nasal obstructions or a deviated septum.
- This procedure involves using radiofrequency energy to unblock the airway by removing soft tissue.
When surgery is not an option, certain medical appliances could serve as a viable alternative to a CPAP device. Oral appliances are also cost-effective, often costing far less than a surgical procedure or additional medical equipment.
These oral appliances come in different forms, but they are generally designed as mouthguards. These mouthguards are removable and only worn during sleep. The purpose of these appliances is to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway.
Why Alternatives to Philips CPAP Devices are Necessary
Alternatives to Philips CPAP machines are only necessary because of the health risks associated with these devices. These health risks are significant enough that the manufacturer voluntarily issued a recall of over 4 million CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilator devices in June of 2021.
Health Issues Related to Philips CPAP Device Use
The recall is due to growing reports of severe medical conditions following the use of these devices. These diagnoses include both long-term and short-term medical conditions. In some cases, the consequences of using a Philips CPAP device will not result in lasting health issues.
Conditions like skin or throat irritation can be painful and unpleasant, but they are often resolved by no longer using the CPAP device and seeking medical treatment. Other short-term health issues include nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.
Unfortunately, some of the health risks associated with the use of Philips devices carry serious—and even life-threatening—consequences. Research identified ties between several types of cancer and the use of Philips CPAP devices. These forms of cancer could impact your throat, kidneys, and liver. Serious respiratory issues are also linked to the device.
The Problem with Philips CPAP Devices
The recall related to Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilator devices is tied to a type of polyurethane foam known as PE-PUR. This foam is used in the CPAP devices as a tool to dampen the sound made by the machine. These devices are used when sleeping, and the foam was designed to limit the noise that might interfere with a night’s rest.
The issue with this foam is that it tends to break down over time. This breakdown could occur rapidly in cases where the unit is stored in hot, humid areas. As the PE-PUR foam breaks down, particles and carcinogenic gases are expelled from the foam. As the user inhales, they breathe in these particles, and gases have harmful, carcinogenic effects.
These problems led the FDA to act. While the recall itself was not required by the FDA, it did issue guidance warning consumers to heed the recall and avoid using Philips CPAP devices that used polyurethane sound-dampening foam.
The Investigation Into Philips
In addition to these warnings, the FDA initiated an investigation into Philips to determine how these issues came about. This investigation includes on-site inspections of Philips facilities to ensure they comply with federal regulations.
In September of 2021, the FDA agreed with Philips’ plan to repair or replace each of the units that included the polyurethane foam.
Were All Philips CPAP Devices Recalled?
Not all Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilators are recalled by the manufacturer. Remember, the recall related to Philips CPAC devices is due to degraded sound-muffling foam. However, this foam is not used in every model of Philips device. That means the CPAC devices that do not include noise-reducing foam remain on the market.
There are other reasons why certain Philips models were not included in the recall. For example, certain models rely on sound abatement foam but place it in a position where it will not deteriorate or be inhaled by the user.
Philips Models That Are Not Recalled
Additionally, newer models rely on other materials and technology for sound abatement purposes, making the use of polyurethane foam unnecessary. Some of the Philips models not included in the recall include:
- Trilogy Evo
- Trilogy Evo OBM
- Trilogy EV300
- Trilogy 202
- A-Series Pro and EFL
- Respironics M-Series REMStar CPAPs, Auto CPAPs, BiPAPs
- DreamStation 2 Auto CPAP Advanced and DreamStation 2 Auto CPAP
- Omnilab and OmniLab Advanced Titration devices
- V60 Ventilator
- V60 Plus Ventilator
- V680 Ventilator
- REMStar SE and Sleep Easy CPAPs
- Dorma 100, Dorma 200 CPAPs (not marketed in US)
- All oxygen concentrators, respiratory drug delivery products, and airway clearance products
If your CPAP device is on this list, you can continue using it without fear of serious medical consequences. These models do not include the polyurethane foam that resulted in serious health concerns, meaning the recall does not apply to them.
Let Our Firm Help You Pursue Your CPAP Lawsuit
If your CPAP machine is recalled, the good news is there are many other options available to you. Some of the most common Philips CPAP alternatives include relying on other models, making major lifestyle changes, or seeking out surgical options to address your sleep apnea.
While finding an alternative is important, the damage to your health might already be done. In some cases, you could be facing lifelong consequences for the exposure to harmful chemicals. The team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers is prepared to help you pursue your legal options if you are the victim of a faulty Philips CPAP device. Call (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation today.