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Should CPAP foam be banned?
#1
Question 
Should CPAP foam be banned?
With the class action lawsuit pending against Philips/Respironics. I can't help wonder if the foam that is used in CPAP machines for sound "proofing" can be moved to other parts of the device where there is virtually no chance for the patient (user) to inhale the foam gas or it's tiny particles. 

Additionally, I can't help wonder about foam in older CPAP machines where (at this time) they are not deemed problematic. It never occurred to me that CPAP machines had foam near or connected to the breathing chamber. 

Obviously, over time, the foam degrades. As such, what about those people who have 10, 15, or 20-year-old CPAP machines which are currently working and not part of the recall or from a different manufacturer. Are these machines safe? Have these machines been scrutinized by an independent third party lab? Or does the FDA and it's foreign equivalent take the word of the CPAP makers like they did with PR?

It seems to me the class action lawsuit is focussing solely on PR and their identified devices. What about the industry itself and their use of foam?  I believe the CPAP industry mirrors itself. It stands to reason that other makers use similar material.

Should there not be some forensic analysis to determine their health and safety over the long term?
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#2
RE: Should CPAP foam be banned?
If the major players in the CPAP market were smart they'd already be working on a foam-free solution, if nothing else just so they could advertise it as being "foam-free". It would be a major marketing advantage since everyone knows about foamgate by now.
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#3
RE: Should CPAP foam be banned?
why not just use silicone bushings/washers to absorb vibrations like they do for hard drives


or put the pump in an enclosure that seals the entire air movement mechanics from the foam, so that if it does break down it stay contained and now blown into the lungs.


kinda wanna take my 11 apart and do this.
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#4
RE: Should CPAP foam be banned?
The problem with the deteriorating urethane foam has affected exactly one manufacturer's line of products, and the replacement is currently a silicone foam. I expect all machines will be scrutinized for off-gassing and degradation that results in particles, but based on the current facts, I don't think a prescriptive regulatory ban of all foam is currently in order or desirable.
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#5
RE: Should CPAP foam be banned?
There are so many kinds of foam... hard foam, soft foam... open cell, closed cell... many different plastic formulations...

a total ban on any type of foam would be excessive... overkill... way too simplistic
Apnea Board Monitors are members who help oversee the smooth functioning of the Board. They are also members of the Advisory Committee which helps shape Apnea Board's rules & policies. Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#6
RE: Should CPAP foam be banned?
If it was a fixed-speed blower, they could probably design an airbox that muted that particular frequency.
Not impossible to have an airbox that quiets a range, but it would be larger.
People want small, cheap and quiet.
A user-replaceable "sound foam" might have been a good choice. Someone could opt for no foam (just toss it away), or replace it annually (ie) per instructions, or ignore it all and have broken down foam (but it would be the end-user's fault and not the manufacturer).
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#7
RE: Should CPAP foam be banned?
The Philips pump is already isolated from the chamber by elastomeric supports similar to those used in disc drives. The foam is primarily used to attenuate high frequencies generated by the high speed turbine in the pump. Anyone with acute hearing would be extremely bothered by those frequencies that many of us can no longer hear. Others sharing the living quarters would also be disturbed by the noise. Better foam choices will solve the problem.
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