Home Philips CPAP

Philips CPAP

A Philips continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP, treats obstructive sleep apnea. Philips DreamStation CPAPs come with a fitted facemask, tubing and a machine that generates air pressure. Philips, the largest maker of CPAP devices in the world, issued a recall for some of its DreamStation CPAP devices in June 2021.

Last Modified: July 27, 2021
Fact Checked
Fact-Checked

Editors carefully fact-check all Drugwatch content for accuracy and quality.

Drugwatch has a stringent fact-checking process. It starts with our strict sourcing guidelines.

We only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

What Does a CPAP Machine Do?

Health care providers prescribe the Philips CPAP and other brands of machines to help people with sleep apnea breathe better when sleeping. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops and starts breathing repeatedly while they sleep.

CPAP devices take air from the room, pressurize it and push it through a tube to a mask a person wears on their face. The pressure settings can be adjusted depending on what each individual needs.

Each brand of CPAP may have slightly different features and designs. For example, Philips DreamWear CPAP masks are “designed to feel like you’re not wearing a mask at all,” according to the company’s website. They have an open-face construction and a flexible over-the-head frame.

Some newer machines are available in smaller travel sizes and come with mobile apps that collect data about device use and sleep quality.

Image displaying how a CPAP works to treat sleep apnea
A CPAP treats sleep apnea by pushing a steady stream of air through a person’s nose to keep the airways open.

How Does a CPAP Machine Treat Sleep Apnea?

In order to treat sleep apnea, a CPAP machine constantly pushes air into a person’s nose through a mask or apparatus strapped to the face. The airflow keeps the uvula, soft palate and tongue from obstructing the airway, allowing a person to breathe better and improve sleep. It also reduces snoring.

Medical providers will program the machine with the correct pressure setting for the patient. It may take a while to get used to sleeping with a CPAP. The pressure can be adjusted depending on how well a patient does.

The goal of CPAP treatment is to improve sleep quality, reduce or eliminate snoring and have less daytime sleepiness, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Patients have to use the machine every time they sleep, including during naps, in order for it to work.

Side Effects

Most CPAP side effects are relatively mild, such as dry mouth and runny nose. Many of these go away after getting used to the machine. Some people have trouble sleeping the first few nights.

If you experience stomach bloating or discomfort, stop using the CPAP and contact a medical professional right away.

CPAP side effects include:
  • Runny nose
  • Dry mouth or nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Congestion
  • Unintentional mask removal during sleep
  • Face marks, rashes
  • Feelings of claustrophobia
  • Eye irritation
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Headaches (rare)

Serious Side Effects

Some Philips CPAP machines may cause serious side effects related to damaged polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam in the device. Philips issued a recall in June 2021.

Degraded foam may release particles that can be swallowed or inhaled and chemical gases may also travel through airways. Philips reported potential injuries include: Toxic effects, carcinogenic effects, respiratory issues and chemical exposure risk.

Lawsuit Information
Respiratory problems and multiple types of cancer are among the side effects named in Philips CPAP lawsuits.
View Lawsuits

Philips Recalls CPAP Machines

On June 30, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Safety Communication about Philips’ voluntary recall of some of its BiPAP, CPAP and ventilator devices. Philips is the largest producer of CPAPs in the world, as many as four million machines could be affected.

Philips recalled the devices after it discovered that polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam used to reduce sound and vibration in the devices may degrade and release particles and gasses into device air pathways.

The CPAP maker said ingesting or inhaling foam particles or chemical gasses could lead to toxic and carcinogenic effects. So far, no deaths have been reported.

Shortly after the recall was announced, lawyers began investigating Philips CPAP lawsuits on behalf of patients who used recalled devices and were diagnosed with cancer or other health issues such as respiratory problems.

What to Do if You’re Using a Recalled Philips CPAP Machine

The FDA recommends people using a recalled Philips CPAP machine talk to their medical provider to discuss their treatment options.

Your provider may decide to:
  • Stop your CPAP treatment.
  • Recommend another CPAP machine that has not been recalled.
  • Try other treatments, such as oral appliances or positional therapy.
  • Suggest lifestyle therapies for sleep apnea including losing weight, stopping smoking, avoiding alcohol or surgical options.
  • Recommend you continue to use the device if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
Related Pages