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CPAP Injury LawyersMany people use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices to treat sleep apnea or similar conditions. CPAP machines provide a steady stream of air that keep a person’s airways open, ensuring that they do not stop breathing while they are sleeping. These devices can provide numerous benefits, including helping people avoid the risks of heart conditions, ensuring that they get enough rest while sleeping, and improving their overall health. 

Unfortunately, a large number of CPAP users have learned that the products that were meant to benefit them may have put them at risk of injury. A massive recall of CPAP machines is currently being performed by Philips Respironics. The recalled devices contained a type of foam composed of polyester-based polyurethane, and the breakdown of this foam over time may have led foam particles and hazardous chemicals to be inhaled by users. These substances have been associated with multiple forms of cancer, including throat cancer and esophageal cancer.

Throat Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

Cancers of the throat may affect the windpipe, the voice box and vocal cords, the pharynx (the passage connecting the back of the nose to the beginning of the windpipe), the tonsils, or other parts of the head and neck. Tumors may form in the cells lining the throat, and they can result in symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, sore throat, persistent coughing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, hoarseness when speaking, pain in the ears, weight loss, and wheezing or other breathing problems.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1537947074.jpgSince the medical equipment manufacturer Philips Respironics began recalling millions of CPAP and BiPAP machines and ventilators in 2021, users of these devices have been concerned about the potential health risks that may have affected them. The recalled devices contained a polyurethane foam that could break down during regular, daily use, and the inhalation of particles and chemicals may have led to multiple types of health issues. By understanding the specific substances that people may have been exposed to and their potential effects, CPAP users can determine whether they have suffered harm, and they can work with an attorney to determine their legal options.

Potentially Harmful Chemicals That May Affect CPAP Users

Testing performed by Philips determined that the breakdown of the foam used in CPAP machines and other devices may have caused users to inhale small foam particles. These particles contained multiple types of toxic chemicals, including:

  • Toluene diamide - This chemical can cause irritation of the nose and throat, as well as skin conditions such as dermatitis. It can also cause nausea and vomiting, respiratory depression, headaches, weakness/fatigue, dizziness, convulsions, loss of muscle coordination, blood disorders, or damage to the liver. A person may experience cyanosis, or a bluish color in their skin, due to decreased amounts of oxygen in the blood. The chemical has also been associated with cancer affecting the liver, skin, and breasts.

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CPAP injury attorneysSleep apnea is an issue that affects millions of people in the United States. This condition causes a person to stop breathing periodically while they are sleeping. It can affect a person’s quality of sleep, causing them to experience drowsiness and fatigue during the day because they are unable to get enough rest while sleeping. It can also lead to other serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and increased risks of strokes. For many people, CPAP machines are an effective treatment for sleep apnea, but a large number of these devices have been recalled because they contained materials that could be harmful to their users’ health. Those who have used recalled CPAP machines should understand the potential health issues that could affect them and the circumstances that may have caused devices to be more likely to cause serious injuries or other health issues.

Toxic Substances in CPAP Machines

Philips Respironics has recalled millions of CPAP machines, as well as BiPAP devices and ventilators used by people at home and at hospitals or other medical facilities. This recall is being performed because the devices used a sound-dampening foam that can break down over the lifetime of a device. Users of the devices may inhale small particles of foam, as well as chemicals that are released when the foam degrades.

While foam may break down in any of the recalled devices, there are some circumstances that may increase the likelihood of this type of degradation and put a device’s users at a higher risk of experiencing health issues. High temperatures and humidity levels can cause the foam to break down more quickly, so those in warmer or more humid climates may be at a higher level of risk. 

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