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Millions of people are losing sleep over a CPAP recall | FOX43 Finds Out

It's been more than two months since Phillips recalled millions of CPAPs. People who use the devices say they are left to decide between sleep and their health.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Millions of Philips CPAP machines and ventilators are under a recall.

There is noise-canceling foam inside the machines that can break down and those particles and gases from the foam can cause issues if they're inhaled.

FOX43 Finds Out why some people who use the machines to sleep say this entire situation is a nightmare.

Peter O'Donnell of Lancaster County said he has used a CPAP machine to help with his sleep apnea for more than 20 years. He said, "I'm off the machine now and it's causing me some grief because I can't sleep well at night."

Up until recently, he used this Philips dream station device.

"This is the best machine I've had in 20 years. and I sleep with it because I snore. if I lay down, I snore so bad and my wife doesn't sleep when I snore, believe me," said O'Donnell.

He stopped using it because this model is one of the 3-4 million CPAPS and ventilators recalled back in June.

According to the Philips recall website, people who use the CPAP devices should stop the use of the machine and call their doctor.

O'Donnell stopped using the machine and he couldn't get a doctor's appointment right away. Now, while he waits for that appointment he can't sleep. He said, "I need it to sleep. I don't sleep well at night, so therefore I'm falling asleep during the day because I'm not sleeping at nighttime when I should be."

The fix isn't as simple as just buying a new machine.

These devices can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 and buying a replacement may not be covered by insurance.

That's one reason why O'Donnell, along with hundreds of other people who use these machines has joined a class-action lawsuit. 

"This is just about as bad as we've seen in terms of a recall."

That's what Dena Young, Senior Counsel at Berger and Montague said. She said she hears from people just like O'Donnell who don't know what to do, "For people who rely on a device to breathe at night or during the day to not have a replacement product is just very dangerous to their health."

A Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine doctor with Wellspan agrees. Dr. Meera Ranganathan has the same response every time calls with the issue, "We tell them please do not stop using your machine."

She says people who stop using the machine can have other issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, it's also a risk factor for strokes."

All of this is scary for O'Donnell, but he says the worst part is that he has never heard from the company about the issue and there's no fix just yet.

FOX43 Finds Out did contact Philips about the issue.

We were sent a statement that reads in part, "We are working to address this issue as expeditiously as possible. However, given the number of devices currently in use (estimated at 3 to 4 million units globally based on production and shipment data – about half are in the U.S.), we are not able to provide an immediate solution at this time. The company is also in consultation with regulatory authorities worldwide regarding the correction program."

A Philips spokesperson did say they are ramping up production of replacement kits and are working with federal regulators too.

The company also recommends registering the device with Phillips so you can get the latest updates.

Here's more information on the class-action lawsuit.

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