Jayme Rubenstein, a ResMed spokesman, said the company was prioritizing manufacturing devices for patients with immediate ventilator needs, including Covid patients, followed by machines for those with central and obstructive sleep apnea.
In an April 2020 survey of home medical-equipment suppliers, more than half reported supply-chain interruptions for CPAP machines, and 62 percent reported up to a 60-day delay. The Philips recall has “certainly exacerbated” the situation, said Thomas Ryan, the chief executive of the American Association for Homecare, which commissioned the study and represents the suppliers. (Philips is on its board.)
“Given the shortages of materials to make these devices, such as resins and computer chip modules, and transportation bottlenecks, I expect that supply will continue to lag behind demand into 2022,” he said. “It is becoming a crisis.”
Amy Sloane, who learned she had sleep apnea in 2017, started using a DreamStation BiPAP Auto SV machine the following year. Overall, she said, her sleep improved. But in reading about the recall, she grew concerned when she learned that the sonic cleaning device she used could break down the foam barrier.
“Even more upsetting,” she said, “when I manually wiped out my DreamStation water reservoir, there were black particles on the wipe.”
Ms. Sloane, 57, a lawyer who lives in Baltimore, registered her device with Philips for the recall early. But she said the company’s only response was to tell her to consult her physician, who advised her to stop using it immediately. Within a few days, her doctor was able to prescribe an auto-adjusting CPAP machine by another manufacturer.
Since June, about 40 lawsuits against Philips have been filed on behalf of patients in more than 20 states. Steven Bloch, a lawyer for Silver Golub & Teitell in Stamford, Conn., said his firm filed four actions in Massachusetts, home to Philips’s U.S. headquarters.