WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are calling on manufacturers of heart-zapping defibrillators to fix long-standing problems with the emergency devices that have triggered dozens of recalls and led to injuries and deaths.
Defibrillators use electric shocks to jolt the heart back to normal after patients collapse from cardiac arrest. The devices save hundreds of lives each year and are found everywhere from emergency rooms to airports.
But the Food and Drug Administration says the devices have been plagued for years by problems, ranging from faulty circuitry to confusing design and instructions. In 2009, the FDA issued 17 recalls on the devices, up from nine in 2005.
On Monday, the agency sent letters to all manufacturers, requesting they meet with the government to discuss fixes and improvements to external defibrillators.