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(Boston-AP) -- A voluntary recall of 200 coronary stents that could malfunction is under way. The problem has been linked to at least one death and 16 serious injuries.
Boston Scientific Corporation is notifying 99 U-S hospitals and three Canadian facilities that have received the equipment. The firm says its quality-control process detected the problem, which has since been fixed.
A stent is a wire-mesh tube inserted into a heart artery to keep it propped open after the vessel is cleared of a blockage. Some stents are coated with slow-release drugs to prevent scar tissue from creating a new blockage.
A tiny balloon is used to expand the stent inside the artery. A malfunction can prevent the balloon from deflating after it has been used. That can result in death or require bypass surgery.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)