One of the world’s largest manufacturers of respiratory assistance devices has recently announced a recall of many of its models of CPAPs, BiPAPs, and ventilators due to a defect that may cause serious injury or death for users. However, many people who rely on these recalled products for improved quality of life or even to survive are facing serious obstacles in obtaining non-defective replacements, and a choice between bad and worse options while waiting for a solution.
Philips Respironics Recalls Many of Its Respiratory Assistance Devices
In June 2021, Philips Respironics, one of the largest manufacturers of ventilators, CPAPs, and BiPAPs announced that it was recalling many of its products due to potentially serious hazards for the devices’ users. Earlier in April, Philips noted that it had discovered that the sound dampening foam in many of its products could break down, particularly in high heat or high humidity conditions. The broken-down foam could potentially enter the respiratory device’s airway, allowing toxic chemicals to be inhaled or swallowed by a user.
On June 14th, the company formally announced a recall of over a dozen models of its products, currently used by millions of people across the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also designated the recall as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall reserved for defective products whose use “will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.” Philips Respironics announced that it will either fix users’ devices or provide replacement products with a new, non-defective design.
Patients Dependent on Philips Respironics’ Devices Face Difficulties in Obtaining Safe Replacements
The recall has left millions of people who rely on Philips Respironics’ devices to maintain their quality of life or even to survive scrambling to try to secure replacement devices and figure out whether to continue using their defective devices in the meantime. Most people reliant on CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilators cannot go more than a night or a day without creating serious hazards to their health. So users are faced with the choice of ceasing use of the devices and likely finding themselves unable to breathe at some point or continuing to use the devices and placing themselves at risk of choking or developing serious illnesses such as pneumonia or cancer.
While many users of these products have struggled to work with their healthcare providers, insurers, and with Philips Respironics to either obtain repair kits for their devices or a replacement device from Philips or another manufacturer, many other users remain completely unaware of the recall. Some users found out about the recall, not from Philips or their doctor but instead through social media, leading to complaints that the company is doing a poor job of also communicating the recall to users.
What to Do If You Are Injured by a Defective CPAP, BiPAP, or Ventilator
If you have suffered injury or a medical condition due to the use of a defective respiratory device, you may be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses incurred to treat your injury or complications caused by not being able to use your device, along with loss of income if you miss work and pain and suffering or lost quality of life. You can take steps to protect your legal rights and options by:
- Talk to your doctor as soon as possible to discuss the risks and benefits of continued use of your product and options for securing a replacement device.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions.
- Keep the defective device in your possession or take photos and video to document its condition.
- Have copies of bills, invoices, and other documents to show the expenses you have incurred due to the defective product.
- Speak to a defective medical device attorney as soon as possible to go over your rights and options and decide on next steps for pursuing a possible CPAP lawsuit against the device manufacturer.
Contact Berger & Lagnese, LLC to Discuss Your Potential Case
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a defective medical device in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC represent clients injured because of defective medical devices in Butler, Cranberry Township, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 310 Grant St. #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.