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Philips recall: Vent providers in ‘wait-and-see mode’

Philips recall: Vent providers in ‘wait-and-see mode’

YARMOUTH, Maine – Three weeks after Philips issued a voluntary recall for certain mechanical ventilators, including its popular Trilogy 100 and 200, providers say they're still waiting for guidance on how to move forward.  

“Right now, we’re in wait-and-see mode,” said Chris Burgess, vice president of clinical services for Med Emporium in Charlotte, N.C. “We haven’t been given guidance. We’ll roll out a corrective action, as soon as we get details. I hope it’s something that our clinicians can do.” 

The recall, issued June 14, states that potential health risks have been identified related to the polyester-based polyurethane sound abatement foam component in these devices. The risks include that the foam may degrade into particles that may enter the device’s air pathway and be ingested or inhaled by the user, and that it may off-gas certain chemicals.  

As a temporary measure, Philips is directing providers to put a bacteria filter on the outlet side of the ventilator, says provider Roxanne Vennard. 

“We’re doing that and just waiting for the next directions, and we’ll go from there,” said Vennard, president of Ascent Respiratory Care in Colorado. 

For patients using affected ventilators, the recall advises they not stop or alter their prescribed therapy until they have talked to their physicians, but there’s still mass confusion out there, says Burgess. 

“Right now, we are taking calls from everyone – patients, providers, health care systems, case managers,” he said. “We’ve had issues where patients have gone to the hospital and are being told they can’t use Trilogies because it’s a recalled device, but we’re not sure biomed departments should be making those calls.” 

Complicating matters further, providers are hearing from some referral sources that they’d prefer not to have their patients set up on affected Trilogy devices. That puts providers in a pinch when lead times for some ventilators are now up to three or four weeks, says Vennard. 

“We do carry a couple of other options, but from a patient perspective, ventilators are not really one size fits all,” she said. “Some people can’t tolerate (certain devices), and we need to find a different option.”


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