Breathing Monitor Lithium Battery Packs Defective

On April 20, 2016, Medtronic recalled the battery pack used in its Covidien Oridion labeled Capnostream20 and Capnostream20p Patient Monitors. This voluntary recall is being conducted due to a battery manufacturing defect that may increase the risk of thermal damage in the battery pack. The scope of this recall includes battery pack model numbers 016400 and 010520. These packs were manufactured by a contract manufacturer between April 2014 and February 2016.


Capnostream monitors are external (non-implantable) medical devices used to assess patients’ respiratory status and identify changes in breathing. The prescription device is operated by trained health care professionals in a clinical setting and in the home.


Medtronic has received seven reports of thermal damage out of 9,817 battery packs impacted by this field action. Of these seven reports, one involved a fire resulting in smoke inhalation and minor burns. The company recommends that customers use the Capnostream monitors on AC power (with the battery pack removed) until a replacement battery pack is available.


On April 15, 2016, Medtronic sent a letter to customers who have Capnostream battery packs affected by this voluntary recall. The Company also supplied a rework kit with full instructions for removal and proper disposal or recycling of the battery pack according to local policy. The eight cell, 14.3 volt, Lithium Ion battery pack is custom manufactured by third party contract manufacturers.


The company has identified a manufacturing change conducted by the third party contract manufacturer as the probable root cause and is manufacturing new batteries that meet original specifications with a new contract manufacturer. The company will supply new batteries to affected customers when available. No other Medtronic products are affected by this supplier of battery packs.


See the Recall


See the FDA Safety Alert


See also Medical Law Perspectives, August 2012 Report: Anesthesiology Errors: Complications, Malpractice, and Catastrophe