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Philips CPAP Machine Class Action Lawsuits Filed Over Recalled DreamStations

Philips Respironics faces a class action lawsuit over its recalled DreamStation CPAP machines, Bi-PAP machines and ventilators, which contain allegedly defective sound abatement foam that may break down and releases black particles or toxic chemicals directly into the air pathways of individuals using the devices.

The case is the first of what is expected to be thousands of Philips CPAP machine lawsuits likely to be filed by owners of devices sold in recent years with a polyester-based polyurethane foam intended to reduce sound and vibrations, known as PE-PUR sound abatement foam.

A massive Philips CPAP machine recall was issued on June 14, impacting about 3.5 million DreamStation products, CPAP machines, BiPAP machines and mechanical ventilators, which are commonly used among individuals with problems ranging from sleep apnea and COPD, to an inability to breath on their own.

According to allegations raised in a complaint (PDF) filed by Gerry Shelton late last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Philips has known about problems with the recalled sleep apnea machines for years. However, the company allegedly concealed the information and delayed announcing any recall until new version of the machines, known as “DreamStation2”, was introduced in April 2021, allowing the company to profit further by the defective and dangerous design.

Shelton is a truck driver with sleep apnea, and indicates he had to stop working because he cannot drive with untreated breathing problems, and has no replacement CPAP machine available. The lawsuit indicates he has begun suffering from atrial fibrillation because he cannot get sufficient sleep.

“Philips has no concrete timeline for replacing or repairing any of the Recalled Breathing Machines,” Shelton’s lawsuit states. “In fact, Philips timed its recall of the Recalled Breathing Machines to coincide with the launch of its next generation of products, which purportedly do not suffer from the same PE-PUR foam issues. Thus, the only safe option that Philips offers to its customers – many of whom need and rely on the Recalled Breathing Machines – is to purchase Philip’s newer model, thus profiting Philips further.”

The lawsuit seeks class action status to pursue damages on behalf of all individuals who purchased a recalled Philips CPAP machine, which may increase the risk of cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and other injuries, including headaches, irritation, inflammation and respiratory issues.

Shelton calls for the Court to require Philips to refund the cost of recalled machines, replace them with non-defective devices for free and pay for medical monitoring for those who may have inhaled cancer causing black particles released by the foam, as well as toxic chemicals released by the breathing machines for years.

FDA Highlights Philips Respironics CPAP Machine Health Risks

The complaint was filed one day before the FDA issued a safety communication warning consumers and healthcare providers about the health risks from the recalled breathing machines.

The FDA indicates people who use Philips DreamStation, CPAP or BiPAP machines should immediately stop using their device and contact their healthcare providers for a suitable treatment alternative. Unfortunately, there is likely to be limited availability for other breathing machines, and alternative treatments for sleep apnea or lifestyle changes may not provide immediate relief.

For users with recalled Philips ventilators, which provide mechanical breathing assistance, the FDA indicates not to stop or change ventilator until after speaking with a doctor, as some patients require the life-sustaining therapy.

While an inline bacterial filter can be used to catch the foam particles before they enter the airways, this may impede the ventilator performance and increase resistance of airflow through the device, according to federal health officials. In addition, this will not protect against problems caused by “off-gassing” of chemicals from the degraded foam.

Philips has suggested individuals living in areas with high temperatures or humidity may face an increased risk of the CPAP machine foam degrading, and certain ozone or UV light cleaning products may further accelerate the problems.

The Dutch manufacturer, Koninklijke Philips, N.V. generated over $23 billion in revenue last year, and is expected to face massive liability from lawsuits and CPAP machine settlements over the next few years.

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39 comments

  1. Derrick Reply

    I have all the Issues related to this recall

  2. Alisha Reply

    I think I have had my Philips Dream Station since 2015. I also have a So Clean Machine that I use everyday to clean my machine and hose. About nine months ago, I started seeing black residue around the water reservoir and had no idea where it came from. I have had a hacking cough at night for a very long time, runny nose, and sometimes a sore throat. I called Philips the other day and they said they put my name on a list but no one has called me as of yet!!!

  3. Maureen Reply

    I have contacted Phillips with no results since two weeks ago. My CPAP machine was on recall when I registered. I was diagnosed with Asthma four months ago and when I contacted the Sleep Apnea clinic where I bought my machine they told me to continue using the machine. Is there anyone who can help me rectify this issue. When I called the help line at Philips they hung up on me.

  4. Carolyn Reply

    Both of my parents passed in hospital on ventilators 7/9/2020 &8/15/2020 negative covid .. sister passed as well she was also on ventilator how do I find out what type of ventilator they were on ..

  5. Elayne Reply

    I’ve had vasomotor rhinitis for 3 1/2 years now
    Filter had been almost black at times

  6. Judy Reply

    I have the cough, not sleeping good and now having Kidney problems

  7. Larry Reply

    Have been on dreamstation CPAP since 2016. In 2019 I was diagnosed with COPD and in 2020 sudden onset on heart failure requiring massive doses of medicine daily.

  8. Elizabeth Reply

    I live in the uk. I have used a cpap machine for approximately 18 months. For the last 8 months I have had extremely bad breathing problems – with (so far) no proper diagnosis. I am now wondering if my cpap machine is the cause of this. Since the recall notice, received two days ago, I have (unsuccessfully) been trying to find a solicitor in this country who is taking on the cpap issue either as a group action or as an individual case. I would be grateful if anyone could advise me what to do. Many thanks

  9. Elena Reply

    I have all these problems due to my sleep machine.

  10. Matt Reply

    I have been having dry Nose with scabes every day for three months now . Dry mouth and have noticed a oily residue over the water when I go to dump the water out from over night usage . I have the Dream station Respironics machine and have been a patient for sleep apnea for 12 years now .very Scared I may have Cancer due to the negligence of the company of knowing the HEALTH HAZARDS Thier machines Cuase .

  11. kittiyah Reply

    I’m a truck diver and I been having all the symptoms listed for a while now. Shortness of breath, coughing, headaches, sinus issues, vomiting. I notice that my filter was black as tar one time. I’ve been to the E.R. a couple of time. I just heard about the recall when I went to get a new medical card. I not sure who I should talk to or what my next steps should be.

  12. Chvani Reply

    I’ve been dealing with pressure in my chest since November. I have gone to doctors and specialists to figure out what the culprit was. I have inflammation in my chest & wheezing. I am very upset that the cause of my issues may be due to my cpap machine. As of today I have discontinued its use. I pray that it has not caused any long term damage and/or effect. Also I would have never thought that the machine that brought me so much comfort whole sleeping may have been causing me harm. Not to mention… I will be going without a cpap machine for an unknown amount of time. I am not happy not to mention concerned.

  13. Linda Reply

    I have this machine along with MOST of the symptoms! At least now I know the reason I don’t feel well! Headaches, dizziness, swollen glands, etc!

  14. Doris Reply

    I started using the dream machine in dec 2016. In nov 2017 I had a chest x ray and it was clear. In April 2018 l was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. I was a perfectly healthy individual before. I had used a so clean machine which uses ozone to clean the machine and stopped using it immediately after my diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis as my dr felt my idiotopathic pulmonary fibrosis may have started from chemical exposure and the only thing l had used was the Cpap dream machine. I now am taking a very expensive medication Esbriet which causes many side effects all because of the dream machine

  15. GERRY Reply

    I have been using Philips Respironics CPAP Machine for more than 3 years and live in Florida..in high humidity temperatures..I’m sure my cpap is crap..short breathes/ filter looking black with black specks..sure that’s in my lungs also…

  16. Joan Reply

    I have had lung issues, sore throat, hacking dry cough, and headaches. I have used this brand for years. The one I am using now is five years old, and there were many times were I saw black7 particles floating around in the water chamber, and had no idea what it was. I figured it was due to a filter, I trusted Philips. How totally irresponsible, because of greed not to say anything and let us know. This is our life and quality of life’s that they were playing with but not doing the right thing. I need my Cpap and they again are negligent by not replacing peoples equipment immediately. These machines are very needed in people’s lives. They say to buy a new one. I cant afford a new one. They should provide me with a new one or a competitors brand so that I may have what I need and paid for.
    Why should people with insurance ( their machine has to be 5years old) make insurance pay for their mistake? I hope the public makes them responsible and that there are consequences for their cover up as knowing the foam was degrading years ago, from what I have read. This is an injustice in itself. PHILLIPS DO THE RIGHT THING AND HELP ALL OF US NOW, EVEN IF IT COSTS YOU MONEY. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE SAFETY ISSUE. I WILL NEVER BUY A PHILIPS PRODUCT EVER AGAIN. THEY HAVE LOST MY TRUST IN THEM. TRUST IS EARNED. THE WAY THEY ARE HANDLING THIS ISSUE IS RIDICULOUS AND BEYOND BELIEF. NEEDLESS TO SAY I NEVER GOT A LETTER AND I HAD TO FIND OUT FROM MY DOCTOR WHEN I WAS THERE HAVING ISSUES THE OTHER DAY.

  17. Jeff Reply

    Stopped using mine in September 2019 when my insurance changed and they required me to get a different machine. My filters would clog up in under a week and I have developed a hacking cough during the use of the dreamstation. Cough still won’t go away. The machine constantly made a whirring or whining sound that would never go away. The machine was replaced once and I got a used one from the local supplier I was forced to use in Nevada. The replacement machine developed the same problem. I still have the machine and won’t send it back to philips until all details come out about my options.

  18. John Reply

    I have been on my cpap now for 6 years. Received a letter today from the clinic my Dr works at notifying me of the recall. I have had headaches for years now. Every morning when I get up I am very nauseous for several hrs. My back hurts between my shoulders. Is their something going on in my lungs. I have Dr. appointment tomorrow. We shall see. Thank you

  19. Jeremy Reply

    I have had both my cpap units on recall list. I use two, one for travel one for home. I have had respiratory infections, breathing issues and heart palpitations just to name a few. Makes a lot of sense this could be doing it.

  20. Mary Reply

    I have been have problems with my machine since I got it ,cough ,dry nose with knots. I take cough syrup drops nothing helps.

  21. Michelle Reply

    I also am having headaches sinus problems lingering cough breathing problems as well as kidney problems.

  22. Jean Reply

    have been using Dreamstation since 10/2019 for sleep apnea. Have developed a cough over the last couple of months. Tried to contact Philips, but they say they will be in contact when they have replacement parts or machines. Medicare says that there is nothing they can do, Philips or Aeroflow (where I purchased machine) needs to replace it. Meanwhile I’m without a CPAP for sleep.

  23. Lisa Reply

    I have been using the dream machine also for obstructive sleep apnea. Since i started using this machine I’ve had sinus issues and started coughing with phlem. Ive even had to use an inhaler at times because my chest is really tight. There have been times my flter has been black and i wondered what that was from and i had changed it not even a week before noticing this.

  24. Brett Reply

    I have this machine. Now I’m paranoid about if it could have done something to my health. I haven’t seen any black particles in my water reservoir. I use my machine every night. I have sinus allergies. So I dont know what to do. I called up Philip’s today. They said they were going to send me out the updated Philip’s cpap 2 version. But I’m going to be paranoid to even use that! I called medicare. They told me I have until this coming december for my 5 year replacement machine. But with this replacement that Philip’s is sending me. Will I still be able to get a different brand of machine in December? Like I said. I like machine. But if I’m going to get health disease from their machines. I dont want that brand anymore! Should I call a lawyer about this? I’m lost in what to do.

  25. Jacqueline Reply

    Start Cpap machine 2019. Complained of filters and now on more asthma medicines. The suppliers always claimed it wasn’t the machine. Now I can’t breathe without inhalers and albuterol. Get severe AFIB if I stop using the machine. Had stroke from sleep apnea in 2019. No one will replace the machine.

  26. Patrick Reply

    I am curious how Brett (posted July 16 1:24pm) got someone at Philips to send him a Dreamstation 2? I registered my Dreamatation 4 weeks ago and have called Philips a few times each week to get an update. As of yesterday they weren’t even answering their own calls anymore. The people answering the Recall # work for a 3rd party company. They said the CPAPs will be repaired, not replaced, and the new foam for the repair has not been approved for use by the FDA yet. When, and if the foam is approved, the CPAPs will get repaired but the process may take up to a YEAR OR MORE!

  27. Brenda Reply

    I have been on a cpap since 1998 not only was my dream station recalled the cpap that it replaced was also recalled and I was still using that one on vacations. I was told philips would reach out when it can. I have had a majority of the symptoms sinusitis, the cough, headaches. I was also getting a funny smell when I first turned on my cpap at night I would just hole the mask away from my face for a bit and then put it on. I thought this was normal obviously it isn’t. I’d certainly like to know what is going to be done about this!

  28. Tammy Reply

    I started using the machine in March of 2020, shortly after I started having headaches and super bad sinus issues my Dr. even did a scan of my head to make sure nothing was wrong they found nothing,I’m still having issues I’m tired of going to the Dr.just to be treated like I’m crazy and nothing is wrong,I’m not one to complain or go to the Dr. often so you think they would listen I know I’ve never had this before so it is very irrating my eyes water all the time now

  29. Pamela Reply

    I have called Phillips (7/2) and received a Confirmation#, and was told I would receive a follow up email regarding what to do with machine, how to get a replacement and that someone would follow up regarding my symptoms that may be associated with the use of CPaP dream station.
    No emails came, I have CB only to be told that the Confirmation# is meaningless, there is no way to look anything up and that a letter is supposed to be going out today regarding the recall to patients stating that if we do not answer our phones after 3 attempts are cases are dropped…WTF. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!
    Phillips is a International company and for them to be caught so flat-footed and to not have a system in place whereas timely info is being released at least weekly is Ridiculous!!
    I am outraged by their lack of concern. OUR HEALTH IS AT RISK and these bozos are clueless!
    Someone needs to file a case against them ASAP…if for none other reason than being inept.

  30. Tiffany Reply

    I have used the Dream station since 2017 . I have had continuous headaches, sinus infections that has started effecting my teeth. I keep a cough and have for these last few years. I have a great group of doctors that I see . All in which has been documented. I cleaned my machine yesterday (I clean twice a week) I change my water daily and clean my water chamber. A while back I noticed the silicone had black specks on it looking similar to mildew. Cleaned it like always and again the next morning the same thing. This eventually started to subside a little . But back to this morning as I cleaned my machine I used a q-tip the inside was disgusting. Looks like black coal sut. I guess for only God know how long from now I will be without a machine to breath at night. I also want to make it known I have yet to be contacted that this recall is even happening. As my doctor had no clue either. But Lincare was well aware and did not notify me.

  31. Autumn Reply

    I’ve used the dream station for a little more than a year, while my sleep quality improved, my pre-existing asthma has gotten worse. It’s gotten to the point when I have a respiratory infection, I cannot use my CPAP. I did not receive a letter regarding recall, and I often have found black specs in my reservoir & filters. I’m 21 years old, I cannot believe I’ve fought hard to get a proper diagnosis & now the equipment I’ve been using is carcinogenic. Philips has allegedly known this for a long time, and would rather we purchase new CPAPs than them fixing their mistakes. I JUST paid my CPAP off, I’m so disgusted.

  32. Nanci Reply

    I have used the Dream Station bipap for about 3 years that is now recalled from Philips. I was never at any point warned in writing by Philips. Eventually, I read this information online. Although they say stop using the machine that is totally unacceptable because I have severe apnea and can’t just stop. I have heard nothing regarding replacement. I wake up gasping as it is, have developed atrial fibrillation in June.2020 necessitating hospitalization and ultimately a crytoablation and the problem still persists. I would Ike to be part of a class action suit . Can you help me!

  33. Daniel Reply

    I need to have a c path machine

  34. Janet Reply

    I have been using a SoClean for at least 3vyears, if not longer, with my Dreamstation. I would like to get in the lawsuit.

  35. Lisa Reply

    I have been using this machine for the pass 4 years, and I also have headaches in the morning after using it , and also feel like I have a sinus infection after using it.

  36. Joe Reply

    I developed cancer in my sinus that went into my brain, tumor was removed in 2020. Used my Phillips CPAP everyday for 7 years.
    YES I Have a lawyer and suing!

  37. robert Reply

    I have a recalled CPAP machine.
    I have seen black particles coming out of mask.
    I am having problems breathing.

  38. Bob Reply

    Throat cancer is two unassociated locations. Been using Dreamstation CPAP for about 5 years.

  39. Cathy Reply

    My CPAP is on the recall list . I did register it on the Philips website. Nobody EVER notified me! No call no letter. I saw something on Facebook of all places about the recall. I’ve stopped using my machine on the recommendation of the Philips website and my doctor. I’ve used it for four years and have headaches, dizziness, and feeling of being tired every morning. I’ve noticed a chemical smell and black residue on one of the seals. So what do we do now???

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