Hospitals equipment alert

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The Independent Online
An official alert is set to be issued to hospitals this week after the discovery of faulty counterfeit surgical equipment, the Department of Health said yesterday. The news comes after Warwickshire trading standards officers, acting on a tip-off, seized 150 medical tubing kits. But similar items have already found their way into several hospitals. Doctors told the government's Medical Devices Agency (MDA), the organisation governing the standard of hospital medical equipment, that the special tubing, used in liver and brain ultrasound surgery, overheated while in use.

Five hospitals across Britain which received fake tubing kits - packaged to look identical to genuine kits produced by a German manufacturer - have stopped using them. The kits have been sent to the MDA for investigation. A Department of Health spokesman said the counterfeiting trade "seems to be a very small problem', but added: "Once the MDA have investigated they will put out a hazard notice some time this week. What was very worrying was that the equipment being used was getting rather hot."

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