Hettich Centrifuge Recall: Rotors May Explode

A recall has been issued for several types of blood centrifuges, which have been found to occasionally explode, potentially spraying healthcare staff and lab technicians with shrapnel and potentially with tainted blood.

The centrifuge recall was announced on January 21 by FDA and Hettich Centrifuges of Beverly, Mass., after a report was received involving the rotors breaking apart in a Hettich centrifuge. The incident caused the spinning centrifuge to explode, sending projectiles out of the housing and causing damage to the surrounding area. Although no injuries were reported in this incident, the centrifuge problems pose a risk of serious injuries or infection if the defect results in other failures.

Hematocrit, or haematocrit, centrifuges measure the packed cell volume of blood, which helps determine the amount of red blood cells. The centrifuge’s rotor spins vials of blood at about 10,000 RPMs (rotations per minute), causing the blood to separate into layers.

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The recall, issued in both the U.S. and Canada, affects the 201424-01 Haematokrit 20 with 2050 haematocrit rotor, the 2004-01 Mikro 20 with 2076 haematocrit rotor, the 2070 Mikro 12-24 with 2050 haematocrit rotor, and the 2075 Haematokrit 24 with 2050 haematocrit rotor. The model number is located either on the front of the centrifuge or on the name tag at the rear. The rotors will also have the model number 2076 or 2050 stamped on them.

The exploding rotors can result in personal injury and damage to the surrounding area, the recall warns. However, the centrifuges are spinning vials of human blood as well, and an explosion could result in healthcare personnel being sprayed with human blood and potentially being exposed to blood borne diseases and infections, such as [http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/topics/hepatitis/] hepatitis and HIV.

Anyone who has a centrifuge affected by the recall should immediately stop using the plastic rotors and contact Hettich Instruments Management I for a free replacement metal rotor.

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