Teleflex Medical, a manufacturer of naloxone atomizer devices, has issued a voluntary recall of these life-saving medical nasal atomizers. They deliver naloxone, a medication that reverses an opioid overdose and prevents fatalities. The company issued the recall over the issue with the atomizer rather than the medication. The device is supposed to easily administer a full dose of the medication, but part of it has been found to be faulty, prompting the recall.
Recalled Devices May Be Less Effective
An atomizer is a medical device that is designed to quickly and easily administer a mist of medication in the correct dose so that it can be inhaled. Nasal atomizers, like those made by Teleflex, are designed to dose the medication directly into the nose. To be most effective, the device must atomize the medication entirely and deliver the correct dose with a simple operation.
At issue with the Teleflex atomizers is that a faulty part may cause the device to administer a stream of medication instead of a mist. This could make the atomizer less effective at reversing an overdose, and therefore less effective at saving the life of the person experiencing the overdose. The name of the atomizer under recall is the MAD300, and there are several lot numbers included. Those people in possession of a Teleflex MAD300, especially first responders, are urged to check their supplies of naloxone and to replace any devices currently under recall.
Teleflex says it has not yet received any reports of serious problems or fatalities resulting from the faulty atomizers. However, it has received several complaints and these led to the recall. The company has not announced when it will have new devices on the market.
The Importance of a Naloxone Atomizer
Naloxone is a medication that is used to reverse an overdose caused by opioid drugs, which includes many prescription narcotic painkillers, but also heroin. An overdose of one of these types of drugs causes breathing to slow and become shallow, and eventually to stop. Without any kind of intervention, an overdose is likely to lead to death.
The number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses has been increasing for more than ten years. One way to stop that increase and to save lives is to provide more people with the drug that can reverse the overdose. The main carriers of this reversal drug, naloxone, are first responders like police officers and EMTs. In some states, people who have loved ones addicted to opioids may also be able to get naloxone to keep on hand in the case of an emergency.
The original naloxone products were injectable forms of the drug, but atomizers are easier to use and avoid the potential for needle contamination. They are especially easier to use for family members of addicts who are not medically trained. The atomizer is supposed to administer a full dose directly to the nose and does not require the user to measure out a dose.
The recall is important because a full dose is essential for saving lives. More potent opioid drugs have been seen in users, including fentanyl, and without a complete dose of naloxone, an atomizer may fail to save the life of an addict in the middle of an overdose.