GE Healthcare takes nuclear imaging systems off line after unit collapses and kills patient

July 10, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

GE Healthcare recommends that healthcare providers take certain nuclear imaging systems off line after an Infinia Hawkeye 4 nuclear medicine camera collapses and kills a patient in a Veterans Administration hospital in New York.

GE Healthcare's Infinia Hawkeye 4 system

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) issued an urgent field safety notice on its nuclear medicine systems after part of an Infinia Hawkeye 4 system collapsed and killed a patient in a New York Veterans Administration hospital.

Last month a 66-year-old patient was crushed by the Infinia system, a gamma camera, while undergoing a procedure. The Infinia Hawkeye 4 is one of the largest devices of its kind and can weigh more than 5,000 pounds, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal last month reported on the death, which occurred at James J Peters VA Medical Center.

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Experts said the accident was extremely rare, but GE Healthcare nonetheless issued a wide-scale warning, asking healthcare providers cease use of a series of nuclear medicine systems while the company comes around to conduct inspections.

The death occurred on June 5, GE Healthcare spokesman Benjamin Fox confirmed with today. GE was granted access to the Infinia Hawkeye 4 machine on June 17 and determined that it had collapsed due to loose bolts securing the camera to the gantry.