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HeartWare VAD Subject of Recall and FDA Warning

Brian Finehout-Henry2 years ago

The HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD), also known as the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System, was approved by the FDA in 2012 as a bridge treatment for those awaiting heart transplants. The HVAD is produced by HeartWare Inc and has been used by more than 5000 people.

FDA Issues Class I Recall for the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device

On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a Class I recall for HeartWare Ventricular Assist Systems manufactured between March 2006 and October 2013.

The FDA warns that driveline connector locking mechanism was manufactured incorrectly, causing failure to engage. This can prevent the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device from functioning and leading to death and other serious adverse events.

The FDA issues Class 1 recalls when the use of a product has a reasonable probability of death or serious adverse effects.

The recalled catalog and serial numbers for the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System are:

  • Catalog Numbers : 1100, 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, and 1205
  • Serial Numbers : HW001 to HW11270 and HW20001 to HW20296

HeartWare Issued Warning About HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device Batteries and Potential Deaths

On May 1, 2014, HeartWare issued a warning about batteries using charge faster than expected. Medical Device Network reports that, the rapid battery depletion could lead to severe injury and death.

Medical Device Network continues by reporting that three deaths were reported, between January 2011 and March 2014, which are potentially related to the battery issue.

Cardiovascular Business reports the batteries with product codes 1650 and 1650-DE are the batteries HeartWare is warning could be subject to early depletion.

FDA Warning Letter About Improper Manufacturing Practices

On June 2, 2014, the FDA sent a warning letter to HeartWare about failure to follow proper manufacturing and follow up procedures. The letter is in response to an FDA inspection of the HeartWare manufacturing plant in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Worcester Business Journal reports the letter from the FDA accuses HeartWare of failing to ensure the effectiveness of corrective actions, failing to keep proper records, and failing to follow proper procedures. The FDA warns that HeartWare failed to have proper corrective procedures in place for the following issues:

  • 27 complaints, including 2 deaths, about HVAD controller failure between February 2010 and November 2013
  • 238 complaints and MDR events relating to battery failure issues
  • improper fix for driveline connectors, the connectors continued to malfunction

The FDA gave HeartWare fifteen days to respond to the warning letter with the specific steps and actions that the company plans to follow to ensure the issues are corrected and to prevent the future recurrence of similar issues.

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