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Alert for Diabetics: J&J Recalls Thousands of Faulty Blood Glucose Meters

04/4/2013
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For a diabetic, accurately monitoring his blood sugar level can mean a matter of life or a diabetic coma.

So this latest warning from healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is especially troublesome.

Its popular OneTouch Verio IQ blood glucose meters have been found to be faulty when the blood sugar is especially high. Instead of providing a warning, they turn off.

J&J is recalling almost 1.9 million units following the death of a patient in Europe.

About 900,000 units were sold to U.S. consumers. The problem was detected when a high blood sugar of 1,024 milligrams per deciliter caused the device to trip off.

The company says the likelihood of reaching that level of blood glucose is remote but the failure to deliver an accurate reading could delay treatment that can result in serious complications including death or a diabetic coma.

Just for comparison, a diabetic wants to keep his blood sugars in the range of 160 milligrams per deciliter or below. Any higher and the sugar travelling through the body can damage the heart, eyes, blood vessels and other organs. Amputations, blindness, kidney failure and heart attack can result when blood sugar goes unchecked.

These meters were sold in the U.S. and in other countries. J&J’s LifeScan unit says it will replace them for free. Those recalled include the OneTouch VerioIQ, OneTouch VerioPro, and the OneTouch VerioPro+.

The VerioIQ meter can be used until replacement meters come in.

The problem was detected by internal company testing soon after the patient died following an inaccurate reading which may or may not have been linked to the medical device.

Over the last couple of years, J&J has issued about a dozen recalls for faulty medications, contact lenses and hip implants. You’ll recall the children’s Tylenol and Motrin recalls, the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip recall, a bone putty to stop bleeding and the complete overhaul of a nonprescription medicine factory that was taken over by the FDA after an inspection found contaminated products and dirty conditions.

Bloomberg reports 2012 sales of LifeScan diabetes care products at $2.6 billion.

Visit the company’s website www.onetouch.com or contact customer service at (800) 717-0276 to return the meter.

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