More than 1,300 life-saving defibrillators may not work when needed because of a battery fault, the health regulator said today.
Some of the machines, which are used when someone goes into cardiac arrest, may have a fault which can cause depleted batteries, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.
First aiders have been asked to check the serial number of the device they use after manufacturer HeartSine Technologies issued a warning about machines distributed from August 2004 to December 2010.
Some samaritan PAD 300/300P defibrillators are faulty because they may either turn on or off when not in use, which could drain the battery power, the MHRA said.
And some may contain software which misinterprets a low battery voltage which could turn the defibrillator off.
HeartSine Technologies, which is sending out reserve batteries to affected customers, said it has distributed 1,387 of the potentially faulty devices in the UK.
"People who are responsible for these public access defibrillators that are in use at shopping centres, railway stations, dental surgeries and other public places, need to check the serial numbers and, if they have an affected device, follow the advice in the manufacturer's field safety notice," said John Wilkinson, the MHRA's director of medical devices.