CPAP and cancerIf you’ve used a Philips Respironics (Philips) CPAP or BiPAP machine to help with your sleep apnea, then there’s a good chance you’re aware that your Philips machine could be subject to a recall. I’ve written about this recall, as well as the health risks related to it and potential legal options if you’ve been harmed by your defective CPAP or BiPAP machine. In this blog post, I’ll look at one of the reasons why using one of these defective machines is so dangerous. I’ll focus on some of the studies that support the possibility that using one of these Philips machines could put you at greater risk for developing cancer.

How Do the Philips CPAP and BiPAP Machines Potentially Cause Cancer?

CPAP machine for people with sleep apnea.Many Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines (as well as Philips ventilators, but this blog post won’t focus on those) are made with polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam. This foam is used to reduce the perceived sound and vibration coming from the CPAP and BiPAP machines. This is because many people who use these machines only use them when trying to sleep. So it’s important to make the machine as quiet as possible.

Untitled-design-20-300x169There are as many as four million machines affected by the CPAP recall. The Philips CEO has stated that it may take a year or longer to fully repair or replace the affected machines. When he says repair he’s talking about replacing that problematic foam or replacing the entire machine for a brand new machine, so it’s going to take a while. And that’s one of the problems that a lot of the people that are calling my office are saying, and that is, that they use this machine to sleep and some of them are worried that they will have to use the recalled machine to sleep. So they’re in a tough position.  Again, I’m not a doctor and I don’t give medical advice, but I would say if you can find a replacement machine quickly, set aside your recalled CPAP machine and don’t use it and beyond that, you just have to talk to your doctor about what’s going on and what you should do next.

Potential Injuries from the Recalled CPAP Machines

What are the potential injuries from the recalled CPAP machines? These injuries would include somewhat modest problems like irritation to the eyes or skin, a cough, headache or dizziness. These are not unimportant issues, they can be serious problems, and they run from the gamut from headaches and nausea to sinus infection. More serious injuries include organ damage, asthma and even cancers. The medical community is looking at this aggressively and quickly and trying to figure out all the many problems that can result from inhaling these particulate foam pieces from the CPAP machines or getting exposed to the off-gassing.

CPAP machine for people with sleep apnea.Millions of people use the CPAP and BiPAP machines to alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea, so there’s a lot of people that should be interested in this topic. I’m going to move pretty quickly through this information, but I do want to start from the very beginning:

What is a CPAP and a BiPAP machine?

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This machine is programmed to produce pressurized air at one steady air pressure level. The way this works is if you want to change the air pressure on any CPAP machine, you have to reset the device’s settings. CPAP machines are extremely common. There are millions of CPAP machines in use and they’re used to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

Paraquat and Parkinson's DiseaseThere are many reasons to become educated on the herbicide Paraquat: it’s very dangerous, very toxic, and unfortunately studies are starting to indicate that it can cause serious disease if you’re exposed to it in any length of time.

What is Paraquat? / Why is it used?

Paraquat is a toxic chemical that is widely used in this country, particularly in the eastern half of the United States where there’s a lot of farmland, orchards, agricultural areas. It is used as an herbicide, a plant killer primarily for weed and grass control.

My tenofovir discussion with Attorney Whitney Butcher continues:

Clay: What are some of the brand names for a TAF tenofovir drug?

tenofovirWhitney: So the first TAF drug that was approved was called Genvoya, and it was approved in late 2015. And then Odefsey is another TAF drug that was approved in 2016. And then one that maybe is the most well-known is called Descovy, and that was also introduced into the market in the US in 2016. Truvada was perhaps one of the most well-known of the TDF drugs. Descovy is exactly the same as Truvada except it has TAF instead of TDF. So then it has also been approved by the FDA for PrEP. So, for prophylactic treatment of patients who are currently HIV-negative and as a preventative measure. So Descovy is one of the biggest TAF drugs on the market right now.

Tenofovir Truvada GileadToday, we’re going to talk about the HIV medication, Tenofovir. This was a medication sold for years to delay the progression of HIV. As studies are beginning to show, there were problems with the medication causing toxicity to kidneys, bone loss and bone injury. Whitney Butcher is an attorney with Hilliard Martinez and Gonzales, and today we’re going to talk about Tenofovir, the brand name medications that derive from this compound, the problems that were discovered and the litigation that has inevitably followed all this.

Let’s start at the beginning. Most people know that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, what is an antiretroviral drug?

Whitney Butcher: So, those were one of the first class of drugs that were basically brought to market to help stop and slow the spread of HIV. Once a person contracts HIV, the goal of these medications is to target the cells and prevent them from replicating so that an HIV diagnosis doesn’t progress into full-blown AIDS which can of course be life-threatening and very dangerous.

CPAP Machine Recalls
Philips Respironics (Philips) is a leading manufacturer of CPAP and BiPAP machines to help individuals treat their sleep apnea. Philips also makes ventilators which are often used in the medical setting. Earlier this summer, they announced a recall of many of these devices due to the potential harm they could cause their users. Let’s take a quick look at the nature of this recall and the resulting litigation.

Why Is There a Recall?

A variety of ventilators, CPAP and BiPAP machines produced by Philips use polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam. The purpose of this material is to reduce the sound and vibration from these devices. However, this foam may break down and injure the user. It’s suspected that high heat and humidity could make this problem worse.

Hoy hablamos del herbicida Paraquat y hay muchas razones para informarse sobre este herbicida: es muy peligroso, muy tóxico y, lamentablemente, los estudios están comenzando a indicar que puede causar alguna enfermedad bastante grave si se expone a en cualquier período de tiempo.

¿Qué es el paraquat?

Paraquat and Parkinson's DiseaseEs un químico tóxico que se usa ampliamente en este país, particularmente en la mitad este de los Estados Unidos, donde hay muchas tierras de cultivo, huertos y áreas agrícolas. Se utiliza como herbicida, un asesino de plantas principalmente para el control de malezas y pastos.

My friend and former client, a victim of an artificial hip failure, sat down with me for a great conversation last month. You can listen to that podcast episode here. The other day she sent a note to offer a bit more helpful advice to those individuals working to regain strength and physical health after hip replacement surgery and especially after hip revision surgeries:

Rehabbing after hip replacement surgery

The one thing that I forgot to say that I think may be important for someone:  After several years and seemingly reaching a plateau in my strength and recovery, but still faraway from where I needed to be to walk and function more normally, I started to work with a personal trainer in strength and weight-lifting. Doing mainly squats and deadlifts, beginning with just weighted plastic pipes, and it made a drastic change in my recovery.  It would take a very knowledgeable and patient trainer, but the results were significant. Once I achieved a little more strength through a range of motion, I progressed and my gait improved and I could walk without such a limp.  

Thanks Clay!

Paraquat and Parkinson's DiseaseIt sounds like an exotic fruit, or perhaps a cute little pet name, but touching or eating paraquat dichloride (paraquat) can result in nasty consequences. This toxic substance has a significant history, but more recently, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease. As a result, the herbicide has been subject to litigation. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at paraquat and the emerging lawsuits.

What Is Paraquat?

Historically, paraquat has had two main uses. First, and sadly, it’s been an effective way of committing suicide. Ingesting just one sip could result in death. In fact, when South Korea banned the herbicide in 2011, its overall suicide rate fell 10% and its suicide rate by herbicide or fungicide dropped by more than 46%.

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Clay, thank you sir for making a disheartening experience at least palatable, you and your staff were honest, caring and understanding through the entire process of my wife’s hip replacements, while monetary settlements never make the pain and suffering end, it sometimes is the only way people can fight back to right a wrong. J. V.
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