The Department of Veterans Affairs and Tricare are notifying patients of a worldwide recall on certain machines used to treat sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Patients suffering from sleep apnea often snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night's sleep.
The recalled devices include CPAP and BiLevel PAP devices manufactured by Philips Respironics prior to April 26, 2021. More than 3.5 million devices have been recalled worldwide.
The VA has said that about 600,000 veterans were issued devices that have been recalled, Tricare also has notified physicians and patients of the recall, but has no figures on how many patients are affected.
Patients using a Philips device that may be affected by the recall should contact Philips Respironics directly at https://www.philipssrcupdate.expertinquiry.com or call 877-907-7508 for a listing of all machines affected by the recall, warnings and care instructions, as well as details on how to receive a replacement device. The replacement will be issued free of charge, however supply issues may slightly delay some shipments.
VA patients also can contact their care team via phone or email using MyHealtheVet for assistance. Tricare users can contact their personal physician for more details.
Interior sound-reducing insulation in machines affected by the recall could break down, allowing small pieces of foam and dust to enter the air hose and breathing mask. However, according to the VA, physicians recommend patients with affected machines continue to use the old machine until a new one is received, saying any potential risk is less than the risk of going untreated. Patients should consult their physician for more details.
Philips Respironics states that the likelihood of foam breakdown is higher in devices that are more than three years old, are used in high-heat (more than 95 degrees) and high-humidity environments or that were routinely cleaned with an ozone-cleaning device.
Replacement devices will be sent directly to the patient from the manufacturer. However, some veterans will have their replacement devices sent from Philips to the VA for calibration before issuance.
For more details, see the Philips Respironics recall website..
Stay on Top of Your Military Benefits
Not sure what your veteran health care benefits are? Keep up with all the changes and details. Subscribe to Military.com. and get all the latest updates straight to your inbox.