Below are some of our videos explaining the potential dangers of the Philips CPAP DreamStation devices, and especially the connection to lung injuries and cancer. To learn more about the types of injuries that have been linked to this medical device, and the legal claims that have been filed, click Philips CPAP.
Philips Recalls Sleep Aid Device After Link To Cancer Discovered
Mike Papantonio: Millions of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea depend on CPAP machines to get them through the night. But it turns out these devices are releasing cancer causing materials, slowly killing users in their sleep. At a meeting in Las Vegas, RT’s Brent Jabbour sat down with attorney Troy Bouk to discuss the dangers of these devices.
Brent Jabbour: Troy, tell us exactly about the safety concerns of these CPAP machines.
Troy Bouk: Okay. Well, basically the CPAPs, the BiPAPs and the ventilators all use the same type of foam that is used for sound abatement, and that’s called PE-PUR foam. And that foam basically breaks down over time into little pieces and those pieces get inhaled into a person’s lung, and they can also be digested into a person’s system like that. And so you can get anything from kidney cancer, liver cancer, you know, nasal cancers we’ve been seeing, and you can also get sort of inflammation of the lungs and it can cause significant inflammation of the lungs. And I recently signed up a guy who has sarcoidosis, and I think that’s going to be one of the injuries in this case.
Brent Jabbour: And, you know, the company is behind these CPAP machines and BiPAP machines and so on, you know, they have to tout the quietness of these machines because if you’ve ever been around a loved one or had to sleep in the same room as someone with a CPAP machine and these type of ventilators, they can be very loud. They can be quite a noise nuisance, correct?
Troy Bouk: Yeah, you’re exactly right. And in fact, you know, for the DreamStation line, which is a very significant product line that Phillips advertises, their, their key advertisement was that it was 64% quieter than the competition. And so this foam was their competitive edge.
Brent Jabbour: And do we know if a company like Phillips knew of the dangers of using this type of foam to actually dampen the sound?
Troy Bouk: Well, I think there’s indicia there that they absolutely knew and I think when all the evidence comes out, we’re going to see that they knew, there was no question about it, right. And, you know, really, even in the way this recall was set up, we saw that on April 13th of this year, 2021, you know, Phillips announced a new product line, the DreamStation 2. And it was supposed to be, hey, this, this great new product line, you know, and, but it uses a different type of foam. And then you see just two weeks later on April 26th, they announced in Phillip’s quarterly report, hey, we’re going to have to take a reserve because those, that old line that we’ve been selling is dangerously defective. And then two weeks after that, they issue of recall of the DreamStation. So they basically announced their new product line and then they, you know, recalled their old product line.
Brent Jabbour: So, it is essentially that they knew there was a problem, but they said, wait, wait, wait, before we do something, let’s make sure we have the, the next product in line set up so that we don’t have these issues. So we don’t lose any profit.
Troy Bouk: Brent, you’re exactly right. That’s exactly how it looks.
Brent Jabbour: And where is the litigation with this right now?
Troy Bouk: So right now, the JPML panel, which is the federal panel of judges, just decided this past week that they’re going to situate this MDL. They actually agreed to form the MDL and they’ve issued it to judge Conti in the Western district of Pennsylvania, which is Pittsburg, basically.
Brent Jabbour: And how many people are we talking about being involved? I mean, I know we say that millions of Americans, these are very common devices. I mean, I think we all know somebody who uses a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, because if you don’t know about sleep apnea, I mean, you could wake up because of the way it closes your throat and the way the air is actually transmitted through your body. It actually can wake you up hundreds of times, or up to 100 times that is to say, an hour while you’re trying to get a good night’s rest. So this is something that affects people and can really be detrimental if you have to struggle with it and this looks, and the way we’re looking at this right now.
Troy Bouk: Yeah, you’re exactly right. Sleep apnea is a serious condition. If you don’t, or are not able to use your CPAP machine, like in this case, due to the recall, you could potentially die because it keeps your airways open. And that’s the problem. If your airways happened to close up and your, you know, your system, your internal system, didn’t wake yourself up to take that extra breath of air you could potentially pass away.
Brent Jabbour: And then you brought up an interesting point there because you talked about the FDA and regulators here. I mean, these devices have to be approved and it’s the same thing we see with medication. They have to be approved by regulators in the United States and in any country, generally, that they’re selling these in. So when that’s the case, why did regulators miss this?
Troy Bouk: You know, that’s a good question and it’s really because they’re not the ones doing the actual testing. Usually they’re having to rely on the company to self report. Hey, you know, these are the claims that we’re seeing in people contacting us and if the company simply doesn’t transmit them onto the FDA, the FDA may never know. Right. And it’s the same with all drugs. The FDA is not the ones doing the testing. They’re looking at all the data that the companies produce while doing their testing.
Brent Jabbour: And what is Phillips actually saying in response to, as these, because there’s obviously they’ve done the recall, but what were they saying as far as when we start to see litigation coming forward?
Troy Bouk: Well, they actually came out and they said, you know, as part of this recall, unless you absolutely have to use these devices, don’t use them, except for the ventilators. Ventilators are sort of a life support device and so they’ve told people do not stop using them until you have an alternative device to go to. But for the CPAPs and BiPAPs, they basically said you need to contact your doctor and determine if your doctor weighs the risks versus the reward of using the machine. And that’s a lot to put on a doctor and I’ve talked to lots of pulmonologists now, and they’re quite upset about this because it is basically having a doctor make a medical decision based on information they’re not aware of because, you know, the pulmonologists that I spoke to said, hey, you know, I don’t know how dangerous these machines are. I haven’t done any studies. I haven’t seen any results. There’s no epi studies in there. So how, how can I make that reasonable decision and tell my patients, oh yeah, continue to use it? You know, Phillips needs to be coming forward and bringing this information to us. How dangerous are your machines? You’re saying you’re recalling them all. You’re saying that could be carcinogenic. But what are we talking here? What’s the probabilities? What’s the chances?
Brent Jabbour: Troy Bouk, thank you so much.
Troy Bouk: Yeah. You’re welcome, Brent.
Philips CPAP Machine's Found To Have Fatal Flaw
Mike Papantonio: Millions of Americans who struggle with sleep apnea, rely on CPAP machines and ventilators to get a good night's rest. Now, Phillips is recalling its sleep aids after they were found to contain cancer causing chemicals and worse, by the way. Attorney Troy Bouk joins me with the details. He's kind of, you're heading this up. Thank you. Every, you know, I see you do these unusual projects. This is one I thought when I took a look at it, I thought it was a little unusual, but the more you dig into this story, it's pretty disturbing. Tell us this story.
Troy Bouk: Yeah, it really is. Well, a couple of things right off the start that sound sort of suspicious is that back in early April, Phillips announced they had a new product line for the CPAPs and BiPAPs and so they announced their new product launch. And then a couple of weeks later, they sort of issued a release, said, hey, the, the current Bi, or CPAPs and BiPAPs that they have across the US that many people use are dangerously defective. Right. Because they emit these types of chemicals. And, and so, and then shortly after that, there was a recall. So it almost looks like if you're a very suspicious that they're pushing people into their new model plan, right.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Yeah. So, so what are the problems with this machine, Phillips CPAP, what, what are the problems?
Troy Bouk: Well, it's got multiple problems and we only know what Phillips is telling us so far. And so we only know from reading the press release about the dangerously defective product. And basically they're saying now that the foam, which is used inside the machine to actually quiet the machine down, because if you can imagine, you don't want a very loud CPAP machine sitting on your nightstand. So, so that foam breaks down over time, and it also breaks down with heat and humidity. And so little particles will break off the foam and the air actually in the machine travels through that foam. And then up through the, the mask that you see there.
Mike Papantonio: To the pulmonary system.
Troy Bouk: To the pulmonary system.
Mike Papantonio: Becomes systemic.
Troy Bouk: Right.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. Let me add something that you, I don't know if you're going to cover this but it's important, you know, in the early days of, of, of breast implant cases they used the same foam. The foam caused all types of auto-immune diseases. Caused Raynaud's syndrome, scleroderma, whole host of really ugly auto-immune disease. I think what I'm reading on this, this has the potential to go the same way. It also caused reactive airways disease if it lodged in the lungs. Are those things that make any sense to you as you look at the story?
Troy Bouk: Yeah, it really does. I think you've hit on all points there, Pap. It's, and it's just simply too early to know. But one thing we do know that these users are using this machine every single night. They're using it six to eight hours. Some of them even longer every night and it's right over their mouth. So you would think that that's a long duration. I talked to many people even over the weekend that have used these same devices, five years, six years, et cetera and, and, and so they're all worried. We've got millions of people across the US worried because this recall alone affects almost 4 million people.
Mike Papantonio: Mm. So you're a dual citizen, Canada and the US. Are they doing this in Canada too?
Troy Bouk: I think they're probably going to be doing it worldwide.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. So, so how long, you know, how long did they know about this problem? Why, you know, I handle the cases, you handle cases, where you look at the documents, you go, my God, they've known about it for a decade. They chose not to do anything because the CEO wanted to make a bigger bonus. Is that the case here, you think?
Troy Bouk: You know, we don't know, because we only know at this point what they're telling us, but it is suspicious. Like I said earlier, it's suspicious that they had this new product launch. And then they report to the FDA they had like, I think 57 adverse event reports, which is basically when people across the US that are using the machine, their, their doctors or themselves reported to the FDA and said, hey, you know, we're having this problem. Or I've been diagnosed with this cancer or something. Well, all of those were reported up from the, by the company on the same day.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah, well see, the problem is, as you pointed out to begin with, it becomes systemic. Once it's inhaled and it moves to the lungs that moves to the blood system, it moves in the liver, it moves throughout the body. So it's very difficult to, for them to have a defense well, gee, it's only a little bit.
Troy Bouk: Right.
Mike Papantonio: We know the history of this foam. There's a whole bunch of science on this foam to tell us what it already does as far as causing problems. Well look, good luck on this. Okay.
Troy Bouk: Thanks, Pap.
Mike Papantonio: You're going to be heading this up. And I, I think the thing that you're going to find is those documents we're talking about.
Troy Bouk: Right.
Mike Papantonio: They're going to be real bad.
Troy Bouk: Yeah. I totally agree with you. I think we're going to, we're, this is just the tip of the iceberg that we're seeing. And so, it's, and it's millions of people are very, very worried tonight.
Mike Papantonio: Thank you for joining me. Okay.
Troy Bouk: Thank you.