Caring for your BiPAP and CPAP ventilators in the wake of Philips recall

Recently, certain Philips’ CPAP and BiPAP devices were recalled due to a breakdown of the sound-absorbent foam in certain models. The foam’s deterioration runs the risk of inducing health issues for users.

Phillips Respironics recall

Philips brought the product to market in 2009, but did not release a public warning until April 2021. By June 2021, Phillips had to recall the devices. The dangers of the recalled CPAP and BiPAP machines include:

  • Respiratory issues
    o Asthma
    o Upper airway irritations
    o Coughing
    o Chest pressure
  • Sinus infections
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Elevated risk of cancer

Though Philips reported that only 0.03% of machines were a risk to consumers, this affected a significant number of them: roughly 4 million machines were problematic. As a result of the recall, Philips has been producing new foam at an accelerated rate, but the new product is still undergoing the FDA approval process. Once approved, replacement and repairs will likely be a lengthy process due to the number of replacements and repairs necessary, coupled with the slow-down effects of COVID-19 on production speed. There may be a CPAP and BiPAP machine shortage over the next few months.

CPAP machine

CPAP Care

This sobering news may be a wake-up call: are you adequately cleaning and caring for your device? CPAP and BiPAP machines are projected to last about five years, but at times, they die early without warning. Signs that you may need a new device include:

  • Low air pressure
    o Before you replace your machine, check to make sure that your pressure is set correctly and that your filters are clean.
  • Loud or strange noises
    o Loud noises such as clanking, mechanical noises, or banging may signal a small malfunction that can be easily fixed.
  • Check:
    o Tubing – is it securely connected?
    o Filter – has it been replaced recently?
    o Air leaks
    o Power cord – are there any cuts or breaches?
    o Air pressure – is it set correctly?
    o If all of these components look like they’re in working order, those noises might indicate that it’s time for a replacement
  • Age
    o All things have a shelf-life, and CPAP and BiPAP machines are projected to last about five years. If you’ve had your device for longer than that, you may want to consider a replacement. You can always use your old one as back up! Though CPAP devices have finite life span, they can be coaxed into almost double the time with regular and proper maintenance. In order to clean your CPAP device, you should:
  • Do not use ozone cleaning on electrical equipment
  • Only use ozone cleaning on masks and parts
  • Clean once a week
    o Tubing, nasal mask, headgear: soak in warm water and ammonia-free mild dish soap
    o CPAP machine: wipe down with a slightly damp cloth to clear dust and debris
    o Filter: rinse and squeeze in warm tap water and blot with a towel
    o Humidifier: rinse in warm, soapy water
  • Let all materials air dry

If you have suffered health problems and believe it may be linked to a defective CPAP or BiPAP machine, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Allen & Allen today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.