FDA: Faulty hematology analyzers face class I recall


The Food and Drug Administration is alerting laboratories and providers to a class I recall on Beckman Coulter hematology analyzers because of the potential for inaccurate platelet count results.

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A class I recall indicates reasonable probability of serious adverse health consequences or death associated with use, according to the FDA.

The recall is related to the devices’ platelet analyzing function; among other uses, these devices help assess patients fitness for surgery, so a faulty reading on platelet counts could result in increased risk for life-threatening bleeding during a procedure in patients who have unidentified severe thrombocytopenia, according to a statement from the agency.

“Because this may cause serious injury, or even death, to a patient, we are urging health care professionals to be aware of the potential for inaccurate diagnostic results with these analyzers and to take appropriate actions including the use of alternative diagnostic testing or confirming analyzer results with manual scanning or estimate of platelets,” Tim Stenzel, MD, PhD, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the statement.

The recall applies to the UniCel DxH 800 Coulter Cellular Analysis System, UniCel DxH 600 Coulter Cellular Analysis System, and UniCel DxH 900 Coulter Cellular Analysis System. The faulty devices were first identified in 2018, and the manufacturer released an urgent medical device correction letter at that time. The company has more recently released a software patch for the devices, but the FDA has not yet assessed whether it resolves the problem. The agency has released detailed actions and recommendations related to these devices.

At this time, the FDA is unaware of any serious adverse events that have been directly linked to these devices, but the agency recommends that any events be reported through its MedWatch reporting system.

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