Baxter Infusion Pumps

Medical devices are designed to aid in the delivery of medical care; however, occasionally there are instances in which those products do not perform as intended. On those occasions, it is possible for the defective medical devices to cause serious injury or potentially death.

Baxter infusion pumps are widely used in hospitals and other medical facilities. They are medical devices that deliver intravenous (IV) fluids and medications to patients. They are used in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, nursing homes, ambulances, and hospices. Baxter infusion pumps can be found throughout many parts of hospitals, from the emergency room, to delivery rooms, the intensive care unit (ICU) and in pediatric units.

In recent years, Baxter International Inc. has contacted the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to notify them of withdrawals of a few different versions of their infusion pumps. In 2005 all models of the Colleague line of Baxter infusion pumps were recalled from the market because the pumps had the tendency to malfunction while transmitting important intravenous medication and fluids to patients. The recall order was the FDA's answer to a notification sent from Baxter Healthcare Corporation to its customers in March of 2005.

Through the letter, customers were informed of certain defects found in the Baxter infusion pumps, like the error code and user interface problems that could lead to serious medical conditions or even death. Three fatalities and six serious injuries among patients had been recorded due to the medical devices' defects before the notice came out. Some 206,000 Baxter infusion pumps of the Colleague modes were sold to doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities in the United States alone.

The problems in the user interface of these Baxter infusion pumps could result in serious injuries, especially during the accidental pressing of the off button instead of the start button to signal the start of medication infusion. Failures, when it comes to the external communication portals of the infusion pumps, also pose serious risks to the users. Baxter declared that they would correct the pattern of their infusion pumps' software, making the pump more tolerant of faults and lessening the risks that could threaten the lives of patients using the devices. Critical problems linked to the failure codes of the Baxter infusion pumps have also caused the disruption of the transmission of fluids into the patient's bloodstream. The company advised the cessation of use of the pumps so they could be inspected, should the failures occur. Back up plans or other infusion devices are also recommended for medical facilities that use the Baxter infusion pumps, in case complications should arise.

In March of 2009, the FDA issued another Class I recall, meaning there is the potential for serious injury or death from the product issue, of the Baxter's Colleague infusion pump. The infusion pumps were designed with sensors and electronics meant to shut down and sound an alarm if a potentially dangerous situation were to arise. This recall was connected to failure codes in the pumps that may cause them to alarm and stop infusing while delivering medication and fluids to patients in situations where it may not have been necessary. In the recall, it was also noted that the device could overheat, resulting in smoke and possibly fire if the unit was not properly cleaned or if there was compromised battery harness insulation. There had been serious injuries and/or fatalities as a result of the device failures identified in the recall.

If you are among those who received medicine or fluids through the use of a Baxter infusion pump and suffered a serious injury as the result, it is recommended that you contact an attorney. An attorney who is well-versed in medical device defects or personal injury will review your case, including your medical records and statements regarding your treatment. He or she will assess your information and determine whether or not you have a viable case. In the event that you do, the lawyer will help you pursue compensation and, potentially, peace of mind.