FDA recalls thousands of defibrillators

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Consumer Alert

POSTED: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 6:36pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 6:48pm

The FDA is sending out a warning. If you own certain types of defibrillators, be careful because they may not work in case of an emergency.

They're those machines everyone sees on the scene of an emergency. Defibrillators are used if someone goes into cardiac arrest, which usually means your heart stops beating, but what if what was meant to re-start your heart, didn't work?

"It can make a big, big difference," Mike Chustz of EBR EMS said. "We've had patients that we've used these on that walked out of the hospital a couple of days later and led normal lives."

"I think people would be concerned when they heard about this recall on them. Defibrillators have grown in popularity over the past couple of years," Chustz said. "They're very, very important to have at schools, airports, and anywhere you have a large gathering of people."

The FDA urges people to check to make sure their machines aren't on the recall list. Due to electrical issues, three types of Philips HeartStart defibrillators, the FRx, HS1 Home or HS1 On-Site made between 2005 to 2012, may not work in time to save a life.

"It's someone close to you in a lot of cases. So we highly recommend that you be familiar with them and know where they are," Chustz said. "Check the expiration on your pads and make sure your batteries are good in them. Things like that because it's not going to do you any good if it's hanging in there, and it doesn't work."

Even though East Baton Rouge EMS does not own any of the recalled machines, Chustz said, if yours doesn't work, just do it the old fashioned way.

"If it didn't work, you would keep up with the CPR, the training and treatment, or whatever you know how to do with that patient, but always continue CPR until the paramedics arrive at the scene," Chustz said. "As I said, this recall states to continue to use the machine and try to get a replacement for it as soon as you can."

If you have one of these machines, you should contact Philips Customer Service at 1-800-263-3342 to receive a replacement. Also, if you have any questions contact Mike Chustz at Baton Rouge EMS (225) 389-5155.

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