US blocks made-in-China syringes over risk of detaching in patients’ arms

Washington: Syringes with needles that detach and get stuck in patients arms have been blocked from being imported into the US.

The US Food and Drug Administration asked healthcare providers to stop using certain syringes and needles manufactured by Chinese medical device maker Guangdong Haiou Medical Apparatus Co.

An FDA spokesperson said on Thursday (Friday AEST) the devices stopped being shipped in COVID-19 vaccination kits as of March 22.

Syringes sit in a tray before a vaccination.Credit:AP

The agency said it has received information about quality issues, including certain HAIOU needles detaching from the syringe and getting stuck to the patient’s arm after injection and a few incidents involving accidental needlestick injuries to healthcare providers.

The agency has recommended against use of two of HAIOU’s syringe-needle combinations – 1mL syringe with 25Gx 1-inch needle and the 1mL syringe with 23G x 1-inch needle – until further notice.

At least one pharmacist said the syringes had been shipped for use with the Pfizer Inc /BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine.

Erin Fox, senior director of drug information at University of Utah Health, said it had previously received the syringes with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as part of ancillary supply kits shipped by McKesson Corp. She said they were using those syringes in March, but have not had them for a while and are not currently using them.

The FDA issued an import alert on April 30, to prevent these syringe and needle configurations from entering the United States. The agency does not believe that stopping use of these syringes will cause vaccination delays.


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