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Internal Bug: Code Flaw May Lead to Wrong Dose From Infusion Pump 86

chicksdaddy writes "The steady drumbeat of disturbing news about vulnerable, IP enabled medical devices continues this week, after medical device maker Hospira said it has issued a voluntary recall of its Symbiq-brand drug infusion pumps after discovering a software error that may cause touch interfaces on the pumps to not respond to user touches or to display dosage information that is inaccurate. The problem was detected in around 1.5% of Symbiq One Channel and Two Channel Infusers (model numbers 16026 and 16027), but could potentially affect 'all Symbiq infusion systems currently in the field.' The software bug could result in 'a delayed response and or the screen registering a different value from the value selected by the user,' the company said in a statement."
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Internal Bug: Code Flaw May Lead to Wrong Dose From Infusion Pump

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  • Therac-25 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:43AM (#41842763)

    Does this remind anyone else about the issues with the Therac-25 radiotherapy machine?

    User interface was able to go out of sync with the model. Causing incorrect dosage to be administered. Deaths were caused and I think we all hoped lessons had been learnt!

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:09PM (#41843069) Journal

    As soon as you introduce physical keys you have moving parts that can get gummed up, are hard to sterilize, and wear out.

    lolwut? []

    Also, resistive and capacative touch screens won't work well with the sterile gloves that many medics wear.

    They almost certainly did it because it is cheap and/or looks cool. Cool seems to sell even in places where it really reall shouldn't.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by autocannon ( 2494106 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:14PM (#41843755)

    You have no clue what you're talking about. Patients get PISSED when they need to be stuck with needles more often than necessary. Especially when you go tell them it's because we don't know if that IV device actually works right.

    People just love to be guinea pigs.

    On top of who's paying for that? Health insurance companies sure as shit don't pay for device diagnostic tests. Nor does it cover the fact that every patient's different based upon their size, composition, metabolism, etc. All those factors play a big role in drug absorption and metabolism. There's no way to get an established set of values to determine a precise numeric value for infusion.

    Not to mention, exactly what blood test are you going to use to test for a straight up saline drip?

    Your statement is incredibly misinformed. You'd get better results just by standing next to the pump and listening to it to determine approximately how much it's infusing. Of course that requires one be experienced with the pumps to be able to gauge that by ear.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.