Millions of saline syringes recalled over serious risk, shortages expected

Millions of prefilled saline syringes have been recalled due an issue with the plunger design that may result in the user injecting air into a blood vessel. According to the recall notice, this issue puts users at risk of potentially serious health issues and death. The saline syringes were distributed across the US.

The recall comes from Cardinal Health, which is recalling around 267 million Monoject Flush syringes prefilled with saline. The company explains that the barrel in the syringes may pull back after air has been removed, drawing some air back into the syringe.

Injecting air into a blood vessel could result in an air embolism, the health consequences of which could be severe. According to Heathline, air injected into a blood vessel could trigger a heart attack, stroke, or respiratory distress; in the worst cases, it can cause death.

According to the company, it sent a notification about the problem to its customers and distributors by overnight delivery on August 5. Cardinal Health said it was working on getting all of the recalled syringes returned in its August 19 announcement. Though the company received 37 reports about the plungers in these syringes pulling back to let in air, there weren't any reports of injuries as of the recall advisory's publication.

Given the huge number of syringes that have been recalled by the company and the limited availability of alternatives for prefilled saline syringes, Cardinal Health says that it anticipates this recall causing a "market disruption." Among other things, the company says that it is working to help its customers find alternative sources for these syringes.