The FDA hopes that whoever stole the Covidien surgical stapler reloads has a hard time selling them. Thieves allegedly stole the stapler reloads after Covidien packaged and labeled them as sterile, but before they were actually sterilized, says the FDA. The FDA is aware that some of these stolen and unsterile products have been offered for sale.
The devices in question — used in abdominal, gynecological, pediatric and thoracic procedures — are Covidien Endo GIA Articulating 60-3.5 Surgical Stapler Reloads with lot number N3B0165LX. The FDA Office of Criminal Investigation is working with the company to resolve the situation.
Obviously, if you happen to have come into possession of the stolen items, using them could pose an infection risk to patients. The FDA asks that all customers check for the reference code and aforementioned lot number on every box of Covidien surgical stapler reloads before use. "Do not use Covidien Endo GIA Articulating 60-3.5 Surgical Stapler Reloads labeled with Reference Code 030458 and Lot number N3B0165LX," the FDA reiterates. "If you have these products, quarantine them and contact Covidien at 1-800-522-0263, option 5, for more information."