Parents-to-be may want to ask their childbirth medical facility about the infant warmers in use. GE Healthcare recalled over 11 years of infant warmers after hundreds of complaints and two babies fractured their skulls in falls from the warmers.
The exact problem with GE’s Giraffe Infant Warmers and Panda i-Res Infant Warmers, as explained in Friday’s announcement of the mass recall:
“The bedside panels and latch areas of the warmers can crack or break if the unit is moved using the bedside panels instead of the front or rear maneuvering handle. If an infant comes in contact with a bedside panel with a cracked or broken latch, the panel can disengage and fall open, no longer protecting the infant from falling from the warmer.”
GE has received 338 complaints about the bedside panels and latches on the warmers, which were made from October 2007 through this February. Recalled model numbers start with 2063568-001, 2063570-001, M1112198 or M1118179.
Before the recall, GE Healthcare sent an “Urgent Medical Device Correction” letter in March and a similar letter June 14 with instructional posters and safety labels.
Infant warmers do just that — keep newborns warm, especially in a facility’s Newborn or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“It is vital to keep newborns warm and help them achieve thermoregulation in order to prevent and minimize morbidities and mortalities due to hypothermia,” the World Health Organization said in 2013.