At least 67 lawsuits —including class actions and individual personal injury claims — filed in 24 different federal districts against Philips Respironics involving the recall of certain sleep apnea and respiratory care devices were consolidated under the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Judge Joy Flowers Conti will preside over the newly formed MDL.
The lawsuits stem from the June 14 recall of several Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP), and mechanical ventilator devices to address potential health risks associated with the sound abatement foam within the devices. The polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam is used to dampen device vibration and sound during routine operation.
Philips identified two issues with the foam:
- The potential of the foam to degrade
- The potential for chemicals to be emitted from the foam.
Philips determined from user reports and lab testing that the foam may degrade and produce particulates that can enter the device’s air pathway and be inhaled by the user.
The company’s lab testing on the degraded foam particles revealed the presence of multiple potentially harmful chemicals. The foam was also found to emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other compounds of concern.
CPAP Warning Signs
On April 26, Philips disclosed that it had received several consumer complaints about the presence of black debris in the air pathway of the devices. After using the devices, customers reported experiencing headaches, upper airway irritation, cough, chest pressure, and sinus infections. The reports led to the discovery of the PE-PUR sound abatement foam degradation defect.
Yet, it took three months for Philips to issue the CPAP recall.
Philips CPAP Side Effects
According to the FDA recall notice, the potential risks of particulate exposure include
- irritation to the skin, eye, and respiratory tract
- Inflammatory response
- Toxic or carcinogenic effects to organs, such as the kidneys and liver.
The potential risks of exposure to chemicals released into the device’s air pathway from the PE-PUR foam include
- Irritation in the eyes, nose, respiratory tract, and skin
- Toxic and carcinogenic effects
The long-term side effects of exposure may include:
- Chronic respiratory illness
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Kidney disease
Beasley Allen’s product liability attorneys are currently investigating cases of asthma, chronic respiratory illness, lung cancer, kidney cancer, or kidney disease in individuals who used a Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator. The firm is also investigating cases of worsening breathing conditions in individuals who used one of these sleep apnea and respiratory care machines. For more information, please get in touch with Beau Darley or Melissa Prickett.
Medical Device Attorneys
Beasley Allen’s medical device litigation team has a proven history of taking on Big Pharma on behalf of individuals or their loved ones who defective medical devices have harmed. All too often, we find that the top priority of the device makers is profit, not patient health. Rather than readily investigate potential safety problems, they are slow to examine and even slower to admit a defective or dangerous device.
Our firm has the resources to take on Big Pharma on behalf of clients across the country while never losing sight of the individual. If a defective medical device has harmed you or a loved one, our medical device litigation team can help.
Let us put our resources to work for you. If you are an attorney, we can competently and conscientiously assist you in handling any group of cases, no matter how large.