Maternity units that use warmers for new-borns have received a warning from Draeger, the manufacturer of the device, that the safety panels of the warmers may unexpectedly open if they are not correctly locked in place. This could expose the infant to a dangerous fall from the warmers. The warning requests that all devices are checked for vulnerability and that the instructions for use are followed.
A Field Safety Notice was issued in August 2014 when it became apparent to the manufacturer that the devices’ instructions for use were not being adhered to. Despite this, the manufacturer has not been convinced that the notice has been acted upon and that maternity units using these devices have changed their approach to ensure the infants’ safety.
Elise Bevan, a solicitor in the product liability team at Penningtons Manches said: “It is alarming that a device designed to keep new-born babies safe could in fact expose them to potentially dangerous and tragic consequences. After the news last week that infants are potentially being exposed to dangerous bacteria during their stay in hospital, it is concerning that another alert has been issued in respect of a device designed for the safety of infants. Manufacturers and hospitals have a responsibility to ensure that these devices receive rigorous testing before they are used and that they continue to be used in the correct manner. It is clear that not enough is being done at present and the process for safety checks during manufacture will need to be reviewed.”