Medical device maker Medtronic is warning patients about a rare problem with its SynchroMed drug pumps that can cause them to lose battery power and fail.
The company says it has received 55 reports in which a film formed on the pump's battery, sometimes causing a loss of power.
The pump is primarily used to treat severe pain and muscle spasticity. In some spasticity patients, the abrupt loss of pump therapy can cause serious injury and death.
Medtronic is not recalling the products and does not recommend their removal, unless they are proven to be failing.
The company said in a statement that all the reported problems involved batteries manufactured before March 2005. The company is working with U.S. regulators on a new battery design to prevent the problem.