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Philips recall: Sleep stakeholders run scenarios

Philips recall: Sleep stakeholders run scenarios

YARMOUTH, Maine – As sleep stakeholders band together to address the Philips recall, they're grappling not only with equipment shortages, but also risk assessment and who should be at the front of the line for repairs and replacements. 

In announcing the recall, Philips advised Bi-Level and CPAP patients to discontinue using affected devices and work with their physicians or HME providers to determine the most appropriate options for continued treatment.  

“It should not be first come, first served,” said Dr. Shannon Sullivan, chair of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Public Safety Committee. “We all know in our heads (what patients) we’d like to see first in line. How do we communicate that and (do this in a way) that is clinically forward?” 

Sullivan moderated a live panel discussion on June 18 with representatives from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) and American Thoracic Society to discuss the impact of the recall on patient care and sleep center operations. 

Sleep therapy isn’t a one-size fits all approach, panelists said, and with solutions for the affected devices months down the road, stakeholders need to consider many factors, including the patient’s comfort level with the possible risk of continuing CPAP therapy, whether the patient has co-morbidities, whether the patient needs CPAP as a requirement of their job and the age of the patient’s device. 

“There are certain questions we are all going to be asking and not start with discontinue use (if you don’t fit into certain categories),” said Dr. Peter Gay, representing CHEST. “It really isn’t a good idea to tell a bus driver to stop using CPAP.” 

One thing is certain: DMEs are caught in the middle, says Dr. Brittany Meyer, MD, AASM representative. 

“The problem is, a lot of physicians don’t (prescribe) the type of device – that falls on the DME,” she said. “Then, Philips said to contact the DME but the DME doesn’t feel comfortable making these decisions and are referring them back to the sleep labs or physicians, so I don’t think there’s an easy answer. It comes down to the DMEs and the sleep physicians to work more closely to prioritize which patients do we repair and replace first.”


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