Sleep apnea device recall drags on, stoking frustration

AP News – October 25, 2022 – By MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive recall of millions of sleep apnea machines has stoked anger and frustration among patients, and U.S. officials are weighing unprecedented legal action to speed a replacement effort that is set to drag into next year.

Sound-dampening foam in the pressurized breathing machines can break down over time, leading users to potentially inhale tiny black particles or hazardous chemicals while they sleep, manufacturer Philips warned in June 2021.

Philips initially estimated it could repair or replace the units within a year. But with the recall expanding to more than 5 million devices worldwide, the Dutch company now says the effort will stretch into 2023.

That’s left many patients to choose between using a potentially harmful device or trying risky remedies, including removing the foam themselves, buying second-hand machines online or simply going without the therapy.

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