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Published On: Wed, Apr 17th, 2013

Abbott recalls FreeStyle Insulinx Blood Glucose Meters for inaccurate readings

Abbott Park, Ill. healthcare company, Abbott, has initiated a voluntary recall of one of its blood glucose meter devices due to the instrument giving inaccurate readings, according to a Abbott press release Monday.

Image/Abbott Media Library

Image/Abbott Media Library

The specific device in question, the FreeStyle lnsulinx® Blood Glucose Meter is being recalled in the US.  No other Abbott blood glucose meters are impacted by this issue.

Abbott describes the problem as follows:

The company has determined that at extremely high blood glucose levels of 1024 mg/dL and above, the FreeStyle lnsulinx Meter will display and store in memory an incorrect test result that is 1024 mg/dL below the measured result. For example, at a blood glucose value of 1066 mg/dL, the meter will display and store a value of 42 mg/dL (1066 mg/dL – 1024 mg/dL = 42 mg/dL).

Blood glucose levels at 1024 mg/dL and above are very rare. However, if high blood glucose levels of 1024 mg/dL and above do occur, they are a serious health risk and require immediate medical attention. As the FreeStyle lnsulinx Meter can display an inaccurate low result at a blood glucose level above 1024 mg/dL, there may be a delay in the identification and treatment of severe hyperglycemia, or incorrect treatment may be given. This could lead to serious injury or death.

To date, there has been one reported patient incident in the United States that may be related to this specific issue. The patient sought medical treatment, was diagnosed with hyperglycemia, treated and released. It has not been determined that the FreeStyle lnsulinx Meter was the cause. The incident has not been reported outside of the US.

According to the release,

Customers who are using the FreeStyle lnsulinx Meter should immediately take one of the following actions to address this issue with their meter:

  • Customers can access a software update to resolve the issue at www.freestyleinsulinx.com/swupdate. The software update will allow customers to maintain settings and historical data on their meter.
  • Customers can contact Abbott Diabetes Care Customer Service at 1-866-723- 2697 to expedite return and replacement of their FreeStyle lnsulinx meter at no charge. Replacements are available, and Abbott will send meters to customers immediately upon request.

Until customers are able to update the meter software or until a requested replacement meter arrives, the current FreeStyle lnsulinx meter may be used; however, if patients experience symptoms that are not consistent with their readings, they should contact their healthcare professional and follow his or her treatment advice.

“Our first priority is to safeguard the health and safety of patients,” said Heather Mason, Senior Vice President, Diabetes Care, Abbott. “We are committed to ensuring that our customers are able to continue to test their blood glucose with confidence, and we initiated this voluntary recall to ensure our products continue to meet the highest standards of quality and safety. We regret any inconvenience this action may cause.”

The company is notifying all registered users, healthcare professionals, pharmacies and distributors where the FreeStyle lnsulinx Meter is sold. Abbott estimates that there are approximately 50,000 active FreeStyle lnsulinx Meter users in the United States. Upon identifying the issue, Abbott promptly developed and implemented an update to the meter.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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