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Honolulu replacing cardiac machines

February 6, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A brand of defibrillator that is carried on all Honolulu Fire Department trucks and used when a person's heart has stopped beating has had problems, a TV station reported Tuesday.

The department acknowledged that its machines malfunctioned while on emergency calls five times in the past six years, Hawaii News Now reported.

In each case, firefighters administered CPR and the faulty unit was removed from service and replaced with a backup, the television station said.

A statement issued by the Fire Department said medical director Dr. Craig Thomas reviewed each case and found problems with the units "did not affect the patient's outcome."

The TV stations said the Fire Department uses the Cardiac Science brand of defibrillators.

A call by The Associated Press to the Bothell, Wash.-based company for comment was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The city is replacing the units and has notified companies interested in bidding on a contract. Sealed bids were to be turned in by Dec. 20, but it could take months before a new contractor is selected.

The federal Food and Drug Administration in April 2010 had Cardiac Science recall about 280,000 of the units.

Honolulu fire officials said the FDA notified them in November 2009 that Cardiac Science was recalling and replacing the units on Honolulu city firetrucks and thousands of others around the country because the machines failed to deliver shocks, among other problems.

A Fire Department spoke-sman told the TV station the manufacturer replaced the recalled units at no cost to city taxpayers, but the city received new models of the same brand that continued to have problems. The station did not name the spokesman.



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