Chicago doctors, hospitals warned to stop using recalled bone putty

Operating room fires are rare, but these frightening incidents are also completely preventable and should never happen in Chicago hospitals.

Actions have been taken by regulators and many hospitals in Illinois and throughout the entire U.S. to prevent patients from suffering serious or fatal injuries as a result of operating room fires. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration developed specific fire prevention guidelines that should be followed in all operating rooms. Some facilities have even made sure that medical professionals are trained in fire prevention.

Despite these precautions, surgical fires still happen as a result of medical negligence. And these types of incidents might occur more frequently if hospitals and medical professionals ignore a bone putty recall that was announced earlier this week by the FDA.

Last month, Johnson & Johnson initiated a recall for several lots of its Hemostatic Bone Putty. The bone putty is used by surgeons to stop bleeding in bones that are damaged by trauma or when bones are cut during operations. According to Johnson & Johnson and the FDA, lots of the putty that were manufactured between July 6, 2011, and December 14, 2011, are considered to be extremely dangerous.

The FDA announced that the putty is being recalled as a Class I recall. This is the most serious type of recall the FDA issues. The product is being recalled because it is flammable. When it comes into contact with surgical tools during operations, it could catch fire. This is especially dangerous since the putty is used in patients.

Johnson & Johnson began sending medical device recall letters to medical professionals and facilities last month. It is extremely important that facilities make sure staff knows not to use this putty in operating rooms in order to prevent surgical fires from happening.

Source: Reuters, “Johnson & Johnson unit recalls bone putty,” Aug. 22, 2012

Surgical Errors


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