Covidien, LP — which is part of Medtronic — is recalling its Puritan Bennett 980 Series Ventilator due to a capacitor manufacturing assembly error that may cause the ventilator to become inoperable or stop working as intended, according to the U.S. FDA. The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of the ventilators may cause serious injuries or death. 

Use of the device could result in the loss of ventilation and serious adverse events for patients such as hypercarbia (an increase of carbon dioxide in the blood), hypoxemia (an abnormally low amount of oxygen in the bloodstream), or neurological injury.

The ventilator recall has affected 135 devices in the U.S., with distribution dates between Feb. 23, 2017 to April 4, 2020, according the FDA. There have been six complaints and one death regarding this device issue. There have been no reported injuries.

On Nov. 4, 2021, Medtronic sent an “Urgent Medical Device Correction” letter to customers requesting the following:

  1. Identify affected devices and discontinue use of these devices.
  2. Remove the affected devices from clinical service and quarantine those ventilators until such time that a Medtronic Technical Service Engineer can inspect and replace the affected printed circuit board assemblies.
  3. Notify all personnel in all care environments in which the affected PB980 series ventilators are used about this medical device correction.
  4. If your facility has distributed affected PB980 series ventilators to other persons or facilities, please promptly forward a copy of this letter to those recipients.
  5. Complete the Urgent Medical Device Correction form included with the letter and return it as directed to confirm your receipt and understanding of this information.
  6. If you are aware of any incidents related to this issue, please contact the Medtronic Technical Support Department immediately to provide information regarding those events so regulatory reporting obligations can be fulfilled.
  7. Work with the Medtronic Technical Support Department if you require assistance finding alternative ventilation devices.