Covidien recalls ventilator batteries over failure risk

Covidien is recalling batteries used in its Newport HT70 ventilators.--Courtesy of Covidien

Covidien ($COV) is recalling certain battery packs used with its Newport HT70 ventilators, warning that they may fail to charge and revert to emergency backups, putting patients at risk for adverse events.

When the now-recalled Power Pac batteries falter, Newports will fall back on reserve power, but that only lasts about 30 minutes, Covidien warns, creating serious health risks if patients aren't near an AC power source. Covidien is asking all affected customers to reach out for a replacement as soon as possible, making sure they use the ventilators only when alternative power sources are available.

Covidien said it hasn't received any reports of adverse events since launching the voluntary recall on April 4, and the FDA asks patients and physicians to disclose device-related problems through its online MedWatch platform.

The agency is aware of the recall, Covidien said, but is yet to assign a class to the effort.

The Power Pac recall is Covidien's most recent trouble with ventilator batteries, following two warnings issued in the U.K. last year over its Legendair and Supportair devices. Those ventilators were plagued by a faulty circuit board that led to internal battery failure.

- read Covidien's statement