Product Liability

Defective cords on medical devices may cause serious injury, death

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating certain types of medical devices made by Hospira Inc. and Abbott Nutrition after 122 reports of sparking, charring and fires from the power cords used with the devices. The announcement follows a recall announcement and FDA warning last August on some medical devices made by Hospira Inc. because of faulty electrical cords that could lead to serious injury or death.

The companies’ investigations of these reports determined that the power cords prongs may crack and fail at or inside the plug. The potential risks from these power cord failures include electrical shock, delay in setup and therapy, interruption of therapy, device failure, and fires.

All reports have involved AC power cords with a black plastic bridge manufactured by the Electric-cord Manufacturing Company. The FDA is aware that Electric-cord has supplied the affected power cords to other medical device manufacturers, and is attempting to determine which devices may be equipped with these cords.

Users of medical devices should closely monitor the wear and tear on the electric cords used to power the devices. This vigilance is especially important in oxygen rich environments, in which electrical sparking and arcing may trigger fire.

Any adverse reactions related to this or any other medical device should be reported to the Food and Drug Administration MedWatch Reporting Program.