Sleep Apnea Device Recall From Philips Causes New Worry
Sleep apnea sufferers who had to replace their breathing machines after Royal Philips NV issued a recall for millions of its devices now have fresh worries to keep them up at night. The initial alarm in June was over polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) used in a sound-dampening foam inside the CPAP and BiPAP equipment. Philips acknowledged PE-PUR can break down and be inhaled by users and also said it can emit potentially carcinogenic gases. Now, it appears that a silicone-based foam used in an estimated 250,000 replacement units the manufacturer has been shipping out since September also may have associated health risks. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has voiced concern about the potential for harmful gas emission but stopped short of recalling the substitute devices. Philips, which has pledged to repair or replace all of the recalled devices within 1 year, is continuing to send out the replacement equipment; and FDA is urging patients to continue using them because it is safer to do so than to go untreated. Some users, however, are turning to Philips competitor ResMed Inc. for new machines or are buying old devices second-hand. Others are simply ripping the foam out of their machines.
Read more on the Wall Street Journal.