Safety Alert Number 0703024

Defibtech LLC Defibrillator Maker Announces Recall

The Associated Press

A serious software problem with two models of automatic external defibrillators has led their manufacturer to recall thousands of the devices distributed worldwide.

Defibtech LLC said problems with the software in its Lifeline AED and ReviveR AED models may fail to flag a previously detected low battery during some tests. If that occurs and the battery is indeed drained, the device may not be able to deliver the defibrillation shock needed to restart a person's heart.

"This doesn't become apparent until the battery gets low for some reason," company president Gintaras Vaisnys said. "Given every battery will get low someday, this is an issue. "

The Guilford, Conn. company said it was recalling 42,000 of the devices, now in use in schools, fire stations, health clubs and hotels worldwide. It notified its distributors and customers by letter on Feb. 22 of the recall, prompted by three reports of cases where the devices failed to work. Vaisnys could not provide details. The recall affects all Lifeline AED and ReviveR AED automatic external defibrillators that have software versions 2.002 and earlier, the company said.

The company said it would provide a free software upgrade within the next 10 weeks. The upgrade can be installed by customers without returning the devices. Until then, the company is mailing its customers directions on how to determine if the devices are working properly. It also posted those directions on the Web at:

http://www.defibtech.com/fa2007/

Customers with questions also can call the company at: (877)453-4507 or (203)453-4507.