Zoll Medical Corporation has recalled 180,000 external defibrillators with unreliable batteries and computer software that does not properly detect the battery problem. The company is urging purchasers to download new software that will help detect defective batteries. Units that have been installed on sites for three years or more are at highest risk.
Bloomberg.com reported that every year between 250,000 and 450,000 Americans require emergency intervention for a sudden heart stoppage or cardiac arrest. While some of these patients are untreatable because of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure or other chronic health conditions, otherwise healthy persons can also suffer a sudden but treatable event. Estimates suggest that five to seven percent of all cardiac events are survivable with proper treatment--including external defibrillation to "restart the pump." The Zoll Company defibrillators--marketed as AED Plus devices--were installed at various public locations for this purpose, but when called upon, could not deliver the needed electrical shock.
The software needed to assess battery viability is available at www.zollaedplusbatteryhelp.com.