A Medical Device Daily

Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported that it is voluntarily advising physicians about a potential battery shorting mechanism that may occur in a subset of implantable cardioverterdefibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) models.

In a letter to physicians, Medtronic reported that nine batteries (0.01%, or roughly 1 in 10,000) have experienced rapid battery depletion due to this shorting action. If shorting occurs, battery depletion can take place within a few hours to a few days, after which there is loss of device function. At this time, the company said there are no reported patient injuries or deaths.

Devices with batteries manufactured between April 2001 and December 2003 may exhibit this shorting action. Potentially affected models are the Marquis VR/DR and Maximo VR/DR ICDs and the InSync I/II/III Marquis and InSync III Protect CRT-D devices.

About 75% of these devices were implanted in the U.S. Patients with other models of Medtronic devices or these device models with batteries manufactured after December 2003 are not affected.

As part of the company's program to analyze products returned from physicians, Medtronic identified nine of 87,000 implanted devices (0.01%) with a battery design that exhibited this shorting mechanism. Based on highly accelerated company testing, Medtronic estimated that this rate may increase to between 0.2% and 1.5% over the second half of device life.

“We were able to identify this possible risk through our stringent product testing,“ said Steve Mahle, president of Medtronic's Cardiac Rhythm Management unit. “Even though the potential for rapid battery depletion is extremely low, we see it as our obligation to alert all implanting physicians to the potential issue and provide ways to help them and their affected patients successfully manage the situation.“

Medtronic said it began notifying physicians about the situation on Feb. 10, providing them with a list of potentially affected patients and recommending that physicians communicate with those patients and follow them closely. Medtronic said it is communicating this information so that physicians are aware of the potential issue and can manage it as they feel is appropriate with their individual patients.

Of the 400,000 patients in the world with ICDs, about 250,000 have devices made by Medtronic.

No Comments