Two years on, sleep apnea sufferers still hurt by CPAP machine recall


Orlando, Florida — Carrie Markham spent three years struggling to breathe, affected by lung issues that started in March of 2020, puzzling her medical doctors.

“They just kept saying, ‘We just don’t know,'” Markham stated. “‘Some type of inflammatory condition. But we don’t know what it is.'”

The 48-year-old registered nurse and mom of three stated she’d been utilizing a Philips DreamStation steady optimistic airway stress (CPAP) machine to deal with her sleep apnea since 2018.

Then, in June of 2021, she found on Fb that machines like hers had been voluntarily recalled as a consequence of sound abatement foam used contained in the machines that would degrade.

Based on Philips, the recall of tens of millions of CPAP respiration machines was as a consequence of “potential risks” that included “toxic and carcinogenic effects,” together with the potential for creating “asthma” and an “inflammatory response.”

“I was, like, flabbergasted,” Markham advised CBS Information. “I was like, this explains everything I feel like I’ve been going through.”

She additionally could not imagine she had not obtained a recall notification from the corporate.

“I hadn’t seen it anywhere but on Facebook,” Markham stated. “And why am I finding this on Facebook?”

Markham is one in all many customers now suing Philips, saying the corporate had been advised about foam degradation inside a few of its CPAP machines and ventilators way back to 2015, in line with the Meals and Drug Administration, however didn’t provoke a recall till 2021.

Practically two years on, some sufferers on social media complain they nonetheless haven’t gotten a substitute machine from Philips.

“I think this recall shows us how bad things can go when we don’t get it right,” stated Dr. Vinay Rathi, an otolaryngologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear hospital in Boston who research medical system regulation.

“You basically bought a device, you find out that, actually, it could harm you,” Rathi stated. “And then you struggle to find a replacement device…If I were a patient, I would be livid.”

Philips advised CBS Information in an announcement that, as of January, it has “produced more than 90% of replacement devices that are needed.”

The corporate stated it has thus far shipped replacements to about 2.5 million prospects, roughly half of those that wanted them.

It additionally stated that its newest testing confirmed “foam degradation is low” and inside “applicable safety limits.” It stated that “exposure to particulate matter emissions from degraded foam…is unlikely to result in an appreciable harm to health in patients.”

Philips advised CBS Information it can’t touch upon pending litigation, together with Markham’s lawsuit.   

Markham now makes use of a unique firm’s CPAP machine. Nevertheless, she stated that due to her well being points, she is now unable to work on the nursing job she loves.

“I don’t know if I’ll be around for my grandchildren,” an emotional Markham stated. 


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