It’s been several years since Philips declared their Forte nuclear camera end of life (EOL). Still, through the service and spare parts support of third party providers, many users have continued scanning patients with them. Now, however, this years-long arrangement may no longer be a viable one.
On September 19, Philips Sr. Manager of Post Market Surveillance issued an urgent field safety notice to all users of the Forte family to discontinue use until further notice. This applies to all Fortes, including the Powerpack, the Jetstream, or systems refurbished by Philips.
In the notice, Philips said “There is a possibility that a detector may fall unimpeded vertically to the end stops of its travel limit, due to mechanical failure, possibly making contact with a patient that could result in entrapment, serious injury, or death.” Essentially, anyone who keeps using the Forte runs the risk of hurting a patient, or worse, with a falling detector.
This news raises serious questions for facilities that have relied on the Philips Forte for their nuclear medicine studies. What's being done? How long will it take? What are our alternatives? Below, we'll address those questions with the information that's available now. Check back periodically to to see updates as they become available from Philips and the FDA.