Cancer-risk Philips ventilators ‘not recalled fast enough’ in France


The French medicines authority is urging electronics mannequin Philips to change its faulty at-home ventilators additional shortly, as a result of it emerges that solely 7% have been modified since a recall in June. There are presently 370,000 in use in France.

The Dutch agency recalled its home-use ventilators worldwide in June 2021. 

The machines are moreover typically known as CPAP (regular optimistic airway stress) machines. Philips moreover make BiPAP machines (bilevel optimistic airway stress), which have been included in the recall as properly.

The machines are utilized by people who endure from sleep apnea – a scenario that causes people to stop respiration rapidly whereas sleeping – continuous bronchitis, or comparable complaints.

Why have been the machines recalled?

Philips talked about that the recall was ensuing from a sound-absorbing foam (generally called ‘sound abatement foam’) in the models, which, when it begins to degrade, has been found to launch pure compounds that will set off irritation, problems, bronchial bronchial asthma, and even most cancers.

The foam is extra prone to have started to degrade in models that are larger than three years outdated, or which might be uncovered to intense heat or humidity.

The recall was worldwide, and related to all fashions made sooner than April 26, 2021.

A full guidelines of merchandise and fashions included in the recall can be found here, and the fashions significantly affected in Europe, here. Philips has moreover put collectively a list of further options to widespread questions (in English) on the bottom of this page.

Too sluggish in France

But now, l’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM) has talked about that the recall course of has been too sluggish in France. Only 7% of the respirators in use in the nation have been satisfactorily modified, it talked about.

Philips has pledged to change all of the machines by the tip of this 12 months, nevertheless ANSM has talked about that this is not fast ample. 

ANSM talked about that it’ll take a “health policing decision” in the following couple of days, which is extra prone to embody an official request to Philips to verify a faster different schedule.

Dr Caroline Semaille, deputy director-general of ANSM, talked about: “Today, we know that only 7% of the devices have been replaced by Philips. This situation is not acceptable for all patients who are currently exposed to a Philips device. 

“We therefore absolutely want 75% of the devices to have been replaced by June 2022. We also want patients to be clearly informed and we want Philips to provide us with a very precise monthly progress report on the replacement of these devices.”

Should the machines nonetheless be used in the meantime? 

In France, lung nicely being specialist group la Société savante de Pneumologie nonetheless advises victims to proceed using these models until they’re modified. 

The revenue of these ventilators outweighs the hazard, the specialists argue.

Philips has moreover advisable that victims “contact their physician or care provider before making any changes to your prescribed therapy…to determine if the benefit of continuing therapy with the device outweighs the risks identified”.

In an announcement, Philips said: “We are treating this matter with the highest possible seriousness, and are working to address this issue as efficiently and thoroughly as possible.

“The company has developed a comprehensive plan to replace the current sound abatement foam with a new material that is not affected by this issue, and has already begun this process.”

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