MorningRX: August 15, 2023

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Philips recall declared class I by the FDA, HHS launches civil rights investigation into Tennessee medical center, and experts warn about chemicals released into air and water during Maui wildfires.

FDA Identifies Philips Respironics Recall as Most Serious Type

The FDA has identified a recall of respiratory products from Philips as a class I recall, the most serious type given by the public health agency. The recall includes 4 different Philips Respironics products: Trilogy Evo, Trilogy Evo O2, Trilogy EV300, and Trilogy Evo Universal. The recall, which was originally announced by the health technology company on March 29, was issued due to the detection of dust and dirt in the air path of some devices. This can cause buildup that could potentially block air vents and cause the device to stop delivering the right amount of air pressure. So far, Philips has recalled 73000 products in the United States. The FDA recommends that anyone who may have one of the affected products to contact a local Philips representative or Philips Respironics Customer Service.

HHS Investigating Medical Center Over Sharing of Transgender Health Records

The Department of Health and Human Services is investigating Vanderbilt University Medical Center for allegedly turning over medical records of transgender patients to the office of Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, the Associated Press reported. The civil rights investigation comes as the medical center waited months before telling patients that their medical information was shared. Although Skrmetti said that the records were only requested for a routine investigation involving medical billing fraud, many are worried due to “Tennessee authorities’ hostile attitude toward the rights of transgender people,” according to AP.

Worries Mount Over Chemicals Released Into Air From Maui Wildfires

Experts are warning of potential long-term health risks from chemical compound contamination released during the wildfires that have been raging in Maui since last week, NBC News reported. Many buildings that were destroyed in one of the hardest hit towns, Lahaina, contained toxic chemicals like asbestos and lead because they were built before the chemicals were phased out of construction. Advisories have been issued to residents of Lahaina and Upper Kula not to use, drink or boil water because it may contain benzene and other volatile organic compounds, according to NBC News. On Friday, HHS declared a public health emergency for Hawaii to address the health impacts of the wildfires.

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