Philips Shows ‘Substantial’ Shortcomings In Sleep Apnea Recall

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Last updatedLast updated: October 20, 2022
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The medical technology group Philips has conducted a recall campaign for faulty sleep apnea technology. In this recall campaign, the group has shown structural and substantial shortcomings. According to Dutch health service inspectors, current affairs show Nieuwsuur.

The matter was so critical that the inspectors emphasized how important it was to particularly inform the doctors, patients, and others involved in the treatment of sleep apnea regarding the recall and additional health risks brought about by utilizing the apparatus.

The Issues

In March of 2022, the FDA in America strongly condemned the inadequate availability of information from Philips. Furthermore, they stated that it is a sign of incompetency that most patients are still completely unaware of when their equipment will be replaced, as it helps ensure they can continue to breathe peacefully at night.

In addition, the Philips group addressed the Nieuwsuur on information that approximately 70% of Dutch patients are still utilizing the older machines. While a total of 5.5 million machines need replacement or repair, the company once again revised the deadline for completing the recall as it did several times. Moreover, Philips claimed that 90% of the patients should have been provided with proper help by the end of this year.

The medical director of Philips, Jan Kimpen informed the program that he is well aware of the unease faced by the patients and that the scale and complexity of the recall operation have led to unforeseen problems with communication and production.

To shed more light on the issue regarding previous equipment, last June Philips addressed their concern on the foam used in the equipment to dampen noise. In their explanation, they clarified how this may break down into tiny particles and travel through the device’s air pathway straight into the user’s lungs or may be ingested.

The complexity of cleaning methods may make the methods worse since the foam may leach certain chemicals into the user’s body.

Impacts on Health

Present information suggests that the Netherlands has 50,000 active users of Philips devices. However, the health inspectorate and lung specialists have recommended that the patients should continue to use the devices for now.

In the first week of March 2022, the FDA reported 21,000 health complaints from users. These complaints were as simple as headaches and chest pain and ranged as severely to have caused cancer. In addition, 121 deaths in total were reported but there is no direct link to the cause of these deaths being the apparatus itself.

Certainly, given the massive scale and complexity of the recall, Philips was bound to face numerous difficulties along the way. However, the company was due to publish its research on health implications by April 2022. Since the matter concerned lives on the line, they were obligated to keep the public notified of their progress.

Bringing more to the table in this debate, Monique Klaaver, a lung specialist strongly criticized Philips’ communication with doctors and patients. They referred to its communication method of Philips as disgraceful.

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