Breathing apparatus for sleep apnea – Sufferers await replacement after Philips breathing apparatus is recalled – News


It should take until autumn before Philips has replaced all of its potentially ill-making devices for sleep apnea.

“The situation has not improved at all,” says the user of a Respironics breathing device from Philips – one of around 40,000 in Switzerland – in the SRF consumer magazine “Espresso”. He suffers from sleep apnea, nocturnal pauses in breathing, and for months he has also been going to bed feeling uncomfortable for another reason.

Hazardous foam particles

Philips recalled these devices in the US in early summer 2021 and left it with a “safety notice” in the rest of the world. Reason: Particles could come off the foam used for soundproofing these devices – primarily in humid and hot weather. If you inhale these particles, it could lead to nausea, asthma and, in the worst case, even cancer. The matter is still being clarified in more depth, according to Philips at the time.

Nevertheless, doctors and the pulmonary league continue to urgently advise patients in this country against interrupting the important and effective sleep apnea therapy. This could also have dire consequences, from fatigue to a stroke or even a heart attack.

“If you don’t fight back, nothing happens”

Thousands of people have been waiting for more information or any kind of support for months. The lung league, which rents and sells these breathing devices in addition to doctors and clinics, has tried a filter, but it keeps falling off at night and he wakes up, says an affected “Espresso” listener. The devices should ensure a peaceful sleep and even breathing.

Another patient was lucky. When he intervened with the management of the lung league in the canton in which he lived, the latter was able to organize a replacement device for him from another company, Resmed. His conclusion: “If you don’t fight back, nothing happens.”

Lung league with task force against Philips

But the run on such alternatives is currently very high worldwide and you can really only offer a minimum of replacement devices for those patients who really can’t sleep with the Philips model, says Tina Meyer, spokeswoman for the Lung League: “We want We are so happy to help all those affected, but we cannot because we lack the alternative devices. “

We would really like to help all those affected, but we cannot because we lack the alternative devices.

But continue to put pressure on the manufacturer so that they move forward and repair or replace the devices in question. The Lung League has set up a task force for this purpose.

Swissmedic is also putting pressure on it

The therapeutic products authority Swissmedic is also on Philips’ neck – together with the authorities in other European countries: “In addition to the information available to date, the manufacturer has been asked to provide further toxicological studies on the risk potential and specific information on the repair and replacement program,” writes Swissmedic on request from «Espresso». If necessary, “administrative measures” will be taken. These range from a complaint to the withdrawal of approval.

Philips: “Voluntary Corrective Action” is ongoing

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Meanwhile, a “global, voluntary corrective action” is running, as the Philips media office puts it. The exchange of affected devices free of charge for patients has also started in Switzerland. Why now? First, the newly developed devices with the new insulating foam should have been approved, writes Philips. “The approval has now been granted.” All of these devices are expected to be repaired or replaced by the “third quarter of 2022”. So many of those affected will have to wait even longer.

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