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Urgent warning over FAKE oxygen supplied to dentists as health chiefs launch criminal probe
- Evidence found the oxygen supplied by Tricodent Limited had been ‘falsified’
- The regulator cautioned however the risk to patient safety remains ‘low’
Dentists across Britain have been given ‘falsified’ oxygen supplies, it was revealed today.
‘Several’ practices have been told to immediately stop using a batch of tanks and replace them with ‘legitimate stock’.
Tricodent Limited, the Sussex-based firm which supplied the oxygen, is now under criminal investigation, health watchdogs said today.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which polices the safety of medicines used in Britain, did not say how the oxygen was falsified.
Oxygen — delivered in cylinders — is one of the most common medicines used in hospital and dental settings.
Medical regulators have withdrawn the product from the UK market and launched a criminal investigation into the company supplying the stock. Evidence was found that the medical oxygen supplied by Tricodent Limited had been ‘falsified’. Pictured, the offending oxygen batches, labelled ‘Medical Oxygen B.P PL No 04280/0001 MEDIGAS OXYGEN’
Medical oxygen cylinders contain pure compressed oxygen – unlike what we breathe in – with no other types of gases allowed in to prevent contamination.
Although potentially life-saving, if administered and managed inappropriately it can cause serious harm.
MHRA bosses, which announced the recall, stated that the risk to public health and patient safety was ‘low’.
Its alert urged affected practices to check their oxygen cylinders.
If any are labelled ‘Medical Oxygen B.P PL No 04280/0001 MEDIGAS OXYGEN’, they should be replaced with legitimate stock immediately, the MHRA said.
All remaining stock must be quarantined, the agency added.
The MHRA did not, however, confirm the number or locations of impacted practices.
‘It is vital that you check that your practice suppliers are authorised and licensed by the MHRA,’ the watchdog told practices.
‘Your supplier should have a “Wholesale Dealer’s Authority”, which is supplied by the MHRA.’
No further action is required by patients because the product is only administered by health professionals directly.
However, everyone is urged to report any drug side effects or adverse reactions they notice to the Yellow Card Scheme.
The Resuscitation Council (UK) advises that dental practices should have immediate access to oxygen, oxygen tubing and non-rebreather oxygen masks in the event of needing to administer high flow oxygen in the emergency situation.
Often used in combination with inhaled nitrous oxide as a safe means of managing pain and anxiety, emergency oxygen in surgeries is vital if patients were to suffer acute asthma attack or anaphylaxis.
Emergency oxygen is also required during epileptic seizures or CPR.