Understanding the Phillips Dreamstation recall

Phillips is the manufacturer of many medical and household products. Recently, Phillips announced a recall of several of their BiPAP and CPAP machines, including some of those in the Dreamstation line and a few others.

BiPAP and CPAP perform a vital function for their users to support breathing and respiratory health. A recently uncovered issue with these machines is proving dangerous for some of the users.

Here’s what you should know about the recall and how it is impacting users.

What is going wrong with the machine?

Specific Phillips BiPAP and CPAP machines were designed with a sound abatement foam to reduce the sound they make while operating. In some circumstances, the foam will degrade and could expose users to the foam.

Currently, Phillips is recalling all the machines that are having this issue. It seems the foam degradation occurs in situations, such as:

  • Hot and humid environments
  • Some chemical cleaning processes

In some cases, the foam degradation came from users or caregivers using unapproved products, like ozone cleaners, to clean the machine. However, there are still situations where there is evidence of foam degradation without unapproved cleaners.

What are victims experiencing?

When the foam degrades, tiny particles are released into the machine, where the user is exposed. Symptoms of exposure include:

  • Inflammation of exposed tissues
  • Skin, eye or respiratory tract irritation
  • Headache
  • Asthma

Users of these machines should talk to their healthcare team about proceeding and getting a comparable replacement that is not part of the recall. It is important to consult with healthcare professionals since these devices provide critical support, and stopping use abruptly can present many risks.

Proving damages

When it comes to medical devices, like the Dreamstation, the manufacturer has a specific duty of care. Phillips’ responsibility is to take steps to ensure their product is safe for the recommended users.

Bringing a claim would require showing that Phillips breached their duty of care and caused the user harm that resulted in specific damages, like medical bills or lost time at work.