The experience of battling cancer can be extremely difficult and tolling on both your personal and professional life. While some individuals with cancer are lucky enough to combat it with a single treatment, most persons with cancer may undergo a combination of treatments. Deciding which treatment option to use, from surgery to chemotherapy to clinical trials, can be very overwhelming and confusing.
These are the most fortunate cases, as other cancer patients need highly invasive treatment with extensive side effects. Even then, they might not survive. More than 600,000 people in the United States died of cancer last year alone, which is about one-third of all newly diagnosed cases.
In some instances, treatment for another condition can cause cancer, as is the case with the Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines, which primarily treat sleep apnea. The last thing most people expect when they use these treatment devices is for it to lead to a cancer diagnosis. Anyone who believes they developed cancer due to a Philips CPAP or BiPAP device should discuss the matter with a medical products liability lawyer.
Philips CPAP and BiPAP Ventilators
The Philips CPAP machine, and others like it, aim to help people with sleep apnea breathe better while they are sleeping. Sleep apnea is a health condition when the person repeatedly stops and starts breathing while they sleep.
Many people diagnosed with sleep apnea use CPAP or BiPAP machines during the night. These devices push pressurized oxygen into the lungs to keep breathing regulated while users sleep. This increases the quality of sleep for users, as well as works to prevent fatal respiratory stoppage.
If a part of your sleep apnea treatment involved using the CPAP and BiPAP machines by Philips, you might be among the population of individuals who suffered life-changing injuries. Philips recalled millions of its CPAP and BiPAP machines, as researchers found the machines have the potential of exposing the patient to carcinogens and toxic chemicals.
Quite a few patients have already started filing lawsuits against Philips because the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam in the recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices can cause cancer and serious respiratory problems.
Different CPAP machines and brands have varying features and designs, with Philips marketing and highlighting that its CPAP masks are so comfortable that the user does not feel like they are wearing a facemask at all. While Philips seems to take the comfort of its CPAP masks seriously, the company did not do enough to prevent the machines from exposing users to carcinogens.
Common Side Effects of CPAP Machines
Many side effects of CPAP machine use are relatively mild, like a dry mouth or runny nose. Many side effects subside once the user adjusts to the machine, although if you experience discomfort or bloating, you should immediately speak with your medical professional to ensure safe use and operation.
Common minor side effects from CPAP machines include:
- Runny nose
- Marks on the face or rashes
- Irritation to the eyes
- Upper respiratory infections
- Feeling short of breath
- Unintentional removal of the mask during sleep
- Dry mouth or nose
While these might be inconvenient, they are not usually life-altering. Unfortunately, more severe effects of CPAP and BiPAP machines exist.
Serious Side Effects From CPAP Machines
While most of the side effects from CPAP or BiPAP machine use are minor and go away with regular use and adjustments, some are more serious and can have broad implications for your health and future. Some Philips CPAP machines can cause serious side effects stemming from damaged polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam in the machine.
Philips issued a recall in June 2021 due to the potential for this PE-PUR damage. The degraded foam can release particles that a user might swallow or inhale, while chemical gasses can also travel through airways.
In the recall, Philips reported that potential injuries might include:
- Toxic effects
- Carcinogenic effects
- Respiratory issues
- Chemical exposure risk
Perhaps most seriously, research connects a variety of cancers to the use of the Philips CPAP machine and carcinogen exposure, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
There is no question that a diagnosis of any of the above cancer types will change your life in an instant.
Losses From Cancer Diagnoses
If a medical device or medication leads to cancer, it is often devastating for you and your family. Even if you catch cancer early, it can still take a toll on your physical and mental health.
Treatment is also costly and might be invasive, as many cancer treatment plans include:
Not only do these treatments all result in medical bills, but they all have side effects. Surgery can have a long recovery time, and radiation might cause fatigue, skin irritations, and more. Chemotherapy can cause extreme nausea, fatigue, weakness, hair loss, weight loss, and many other debilitating effects. Many people undergoing cancer treatment cannot work due to the side effects, so they can lose significant income in addition to the pain and suffering they experience.
In the most drastic cases, cancer patients do not survive, and their families face both financial and deep emotional losses.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you have been a regular user of Philips CPAP or BiPAP machines and had a serious negative health reaction or developed cancer, you might have the right to seek damages for your many losses. Connecting with a product liability attorney in your area to discuss your situation will help to determine whether you have a case, and if so, what damages you might seek.
Connect With a Product Liability Attorney Now to Discuss your Philips CPAP Injury
While you must deal with cancer and treatment side effects or grieve for the loss of a close family member, allow a trusted product liability lawyer to protect your rights and hold Philips liable for your losses when possible. Connecting with the right injury attorney as soon as possible after your diagnosis will help to ensure that your claim proceeds as fully and effectively as possible.