After recall, CPAP users still waiting on machines

This CPAP machine is part of the Philips Respironics recall.
This CPAP machine is part of the Philips Respironics recall.(WEAU)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:14 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -Around 20 different models of ventilators, CPAP and BiPAP machines made by Philips were recalled in June because a foam inside them can break down into pieces while in use.

For some CPAP users that means a decision between a better night’s sleep or the fear of ingesting potentially dangerous foam.

“That’s kind of scary to use something that’s been recalled,” said Lyman Benson, a CPAP user impacted by the recall. “It’s kind of like your car: if they recall your car for something wrong with it. You’d kind of like to get it fixed as soon as possible if you got to keep driving it that way.”

Benson is from Chippewa Falls and has been using the same continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) for around five years for his sleep apnea--a disorder that can make it hard to breathe at night.

“With sleep apnea, somewhere in the upper airway, it’s either closing completely or partially closing, so the CPAP comes in and opens up that airway with the air pressure, so the person doesn’t quit breathing anymore,” said Kelly Schmidt with the Sleep Disorders Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.

In her 20 years working with sleep disorders, this is the first recall she’s ever seen.

It’s impacting many people like Benson.

Since his machine’s been recalled, he hasn’t been using it.

It means he’s been waking up multiple times a night.

His daughter has been working to find a solution for him, but said she is getting nowhere.

“I called the company we got his from, and they directed me to Philips, the brand name, so I called them and they had no answers,” said Dana Benson, Lyman’s daughter.

She said it’s been months, and they still don’t know when a new machine will be on its way.

If they want to buy a new machine right now, Dana said they’d have to pay $800 to $900 out of pocket.

“They got us a new one, but we have to pay for it 100%,” Dana said. “The insurance won’t cover it because Respironics Philips should be sending us a new one.”

If your machine is impacted by the recall, health professionals like Schmidt said it’s best to check-in with your doctor to see what the best solution is for you.

To find out if your machine is under recall, click HERE.

To register your recalled machine with Philips, click HERE.

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