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Safety notice: Philips Respironics CPAP and BiPAP machines

Last updated 20 August 2021

St George’s has been made aware of an issue with Philips Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), and mechanical ventilator devices. These are used by people with obstructive sleep apnoea as well as other conditions that cause disordered breathing when asleep.

safety notice has been issued that says under certain conditions the foam part of the machine can be damaged. The conditions where this may happen are rare in the UK, and include very high temperatures, high humidity, and using non-approved cleaning solution.

Please note that no known safety issues relating to these products have been reported in the UK. For most patients, the risk of stopping using these devices is far greater than the risk from the issue that Philips has reported. The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has advised that patients should continue to use these devices at the current time.

Patients with asthma related to isocyanates

Some patients with certain very rare forms of work-related asthma related to isocyanates will need to be moved onto an alternative device. If this applies to you, please notify the Sleep Unit at the earliest opportunity and we will review your situation.

Philips will be gradually replacing the devices. We are currently registering the devices on behalf of our patients. Once Philips have confirmed their plan and timescale to replace the machines, we will contact our patients individually to confirm what will happen.


There are two clinics a week dedicated to the assessment and investigation of patients with sleep-disordered breathing. We undertake home sleep studies on patients with suspected Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS).

For those in whom the diagnostic sleep study is positive, a full continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) service is provided.

Close links with the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and bariatric surgeons ensure that alternative therapeutic options are made available where such approaches are more appropriate.

The Sleep service is supported by a full-time sleep nurse specialist and fully-trained clinical physiologists.