Medical Devices

Hospira Inc., GemStar Infusion System - Pressure Sensor Calibration Drift

Recall Class:  Class I

Date Recall Initiated:  March 15, 2013

Product:  Hospira GemStar Infusion System

Models 13000, 13100, 13150, 13086, 13087, 13088

All GemStar Infusion Pumps that were either manufactured or had a pressure sensor replaced during servicing of the pump since January 1, 2009 could be affected.

The pump’s date of manufacture can be found on the Product Identity label located on the back of the pump.

Use: The GemStar Infusion System is a small, lightweight, single-channeled device designed for use in the home, hospital or anywhere electronic infusion is required. The device is intended for use in intravenous, arterial, subcutaneous, short-term epidural infusion and parenteral administration of general I.V. fluids, medications, nutritional foods and blood/blood products.  The device can be powered by AC mains adaptor, rechargeable battery pack, docking station, or two disposable AA alkaline batteries.  When powered by batteries, the GemStar Pump is used for ambulatory patients.

Recalling Firm:
Hospira Inc.
275 North Field Drive
Lake Forest, Illinois  60045-2579

Reason for Recall:  The proximal and distal pressure sensor calibration can drift resulting in the pump failing the Proximal or Distal Occlusion Operational Test, as described in the GemStar Technical Service Manual, or reporting one of the following errors during device setup or infusion:

  • Cassette Check – D
  • Cassette Check - P
  • Proximal Occlusion  
  • Distal Occlusion
  • Pressure Calibration Error
  • Bad Pressure Sensor Event
  • Bad Pressure Sensor State
  • Distal Pressure is Out of Range
  • Proximal Sensor is Out of Range

A pump with this issue may, instead of reporting an error, not detect occlusions or issue false occlusion alarms, which will stop the infusion and invoke visual and audible warnings to the user.  This issue may also result in the pump shutting down.

Potential Risks:

  • If these errors are observed, the infusion is stopped, resulting in delay/interruption in therapy.
  • A full or partial occlusion may prevent fluid from reaching the patient, resulting in delay/interruption of therapy.
  • An undetected distal occlusion may cause excessive pressure and fluid build-up within the distal line undetected by the pressure sensor. When the distal occlusion is resolved, the build-up fluid will be administered into the patient possibly causing a maximal over-infusion of <1.0 mL.
  • The severity in the delay/interruption in therapy is dependent upon the underlying condition of the patient and the treatment being prescribed.  A delay/interruption in therapy has a worst case potential to result in significant injury or death.
  • Depending on the drug and the dosage delivered, over-infusion has the worst-case potential to result in significant injury or death.
Healthcare professionals are advised to weigh the risk/benefit to patients associated with the use of the device when administering critical therapies.  Customers should consider the use of an alternative pump, particularly in patients in which a delay/interruption in therapy or an over-infusion could result in significant injury or death.

Public Contact: Call Hospira Advanced Knowledge Center at 1-800-241-4002, option 4 if you are unsure if the pressure sensor in your device has been replaced since January 1, 2009.

FDA District:  Chicago District Office

FDA Comments:

On March 15, 2013 Hospira sent its customers of record who purchased the device directly from them an “Urgent Device Field Correction” letter.  

Required Actions:

  • Immediately perform proximal and distal occlusion tests as defined in the GemStar Technical Service Manual. If the device fails either of the tests, remove it from clinical service. Contact Hospira at 1-800-441-4100 (Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Central Standard Time) to report the issue and arrange for the return of the device for recalibration.
  • Add the performance of a proximal and distal occlusion test to your yearly GemStar maintenance schedule.
  • Complete and return the attached reply form and return it to the fax number or email address on the form, even if you do not currently have the impacted devices. Contact Stericycle at 1-866-606-8264 (Monday- Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM Eastern Standard Time) to obtain additional copies of the reply form.
  • Notify your accounts who may have received these devices from you if you have further distributed them and ask that they contact Stericycle at 1-866-606-8264 (Monday- Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM Eastern Standard Time) to receive a reply form.

Hospira Actions:

  • Hospira is modifying the GemStar Technical Service Manual to add proximal and distal occlusion tests annually to confirm that devices do not require recalibration.

For further inquiries, contact Hospira using the information provided below.

Hospira ContactContact InformationAreas of Support
Hospira Global Complaint Management1-800-441-4100 (8AM-5PM CST, M-F) (ProductComplaintsPP@hospira.com)To report adverse events or product complaints
Hospira Advanced Knowledge Center1-800-241-4002, option 4 (Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week)Additional information or technical assistance

Class I recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

Health care professionals and consumers may report adverse reactions or quality problems they experienced using these products to MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program either online, by regular mail or by FAX.

Page Last Updated: 02/20/2014
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.