Philips to recall more sleep apnea masks after pacemaker problems emerge


Technology firm Philips has revealed more problems with its sleep apnea machines after it emerged that the masks can interfere with heart pacemakers.

Philips launched a recall action for 5.5 million devices worldwide after the foam used to dampen noise in the masks was found to be at risk of degrading, creating a risk of patients inhaling or ingesting the particles.

On Tuesday the company said the magnets built into the headband could potentially disrupt the functioning of a pacemaker. It warned heart patients not to use the devices and said it would replace their machines.

The American medical watchdog FDA published its own warning on Tuesday evening, urging patients and caregivers to replace the Philips Respironics machines because of a ‘serious safety concern’. It said 17 million masks were affected.

At least 300 people have launched claims against Philips in the US for damage to their health and the number could rise as high as 60,000, claims lawyers have said.

Philips’s share price dipped by 3% to below €17 when markets opened on Wednesday, though it has since recovered marginally. Last November shares were trading at more than €40.

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