Yellowstone County Law Enforcement Asked By Yellowstone County Attorneys Office To Specifically Review Any Case During Specific Time Frame That Relied Upon Blood Alcohol Collection Specifically Review Any Case During Time Frame In Question Where Sirchie Vacutainer Blood Tubes Were Used For Blood Alcohol Collection Using One Of These Tubes.

July 1, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Scott Twito
Yellowstone County Attorney
217 N 27 Street
PO Box35025
Billings, MT 59107
Phone: 406-256-2870
Fax: 406-256-6931

 

 

June 21, 2019

Defense Counsel,


Recently I received notice from the Montana State Crime Laboratory (MSCL) about a voluntary
recall of blood collection tubes utilized by Montana Law Enforcement.

 

Specifically, the manufacturer, Becton Dickinson, released several notices recalling lot #8187663. According to the vendor for the State of Montana, Sirchie, a small number of blood alcohol testing kits (the grey Vacutainer blood tubes) did not have the preservative nor the anti-coagulant contained within the tube.

 

 According to Becton this affected 300 out of 27,000 tubes in this lot.


Sirchie has been using this lot of tubes in Montana from November 2018 through the begim1ing
of June 2019. Law enforcement in Yellowstone County has been notified and will not be using
tubes from that lot, or they will at a minimum double check the tube before using it in evidence
collection. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, I would ask you to specifically review any
case you had during that time frame~ that relied upon a blood alcohol collection using one of these
tubes.

 

The vast majority of these cases will be for DUI offenses, but there could be others such
as child criminal endangerment. I have instructed my prosecutors to do the same for cases that
relied on this evidence. You can find the lot number on the checklist for medical staff found on a
standard Blood Test Request Form, which would be part of your discovery file.


It is important to note that the risk of this lack of anti-coagulant or preservative affecting a case is
low. First, the blood taker is required to check for the powder inside the tube as pa1i of the
process of obtaining blood evidence. On the Blood Test Request Form the blood-taker must
initial that the tube's content was examined. Second, based on my conversations with MSCL
Toxicology Department Supervisor Beth Smalley, review of the blood received by the lab would
note any issue, such as coagulated blood within the tube or the results falling outside of the
acceptable quality range.


Attached to this letter is the notice from Sirchie dated June 17, 2019. If you have any significant .
concerns about a specific case within the affected time period, please do not hesitate to contact
my office. We can assist in setting up a phone meeting with the MSCL toxicologist responsible
for the testing or the blood taker who obtained the blood using a blood tube from this lot.
Sincerely,
Scott Twito
Yellowstone County Attorney


.SIRClilE®
CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION
17 June 2019
TO: SIRCHIE Customers - Blood Alcohol Testing Kits
SUBJECT: Quality Alert : BD Vacutainer® Sodium Fluoride/ Potassium Oxalate
100mg/20g Blood Collection Tube
Becton Dickinson (BD) has issued a voluntary recall on grey stopper Vacutainer® blood
collection tubes containing 100 mg sodium fluoride and 20g potassium oxalate. This refers to
BD catalog number 367001 and lot number 8187663 - Expiration 2020.07.31.


Becton Dickinson produced 27,000 tubes for this lot, of which 300 did not contain any of the
preservative. SIRCHIE utilized this lot between November 2018 and June of 2019 to produce
blood and alcohol test kits.


In proper testing protocol, these defective tubes can be identified by inspecting prior to use. If
the tube contains no powder, it should be disposed of and reported. After use, it is not possible
to identify a defective tube.


While we feel the risk is minimum, we are alerting customers of the possibility of a defective
tube. We recommend communicating this possible defect to the end users. If defective tubes
are found, customers may contact SIRCHIE for a replacement of the blood tube or a full
replacement of the kit.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do hot hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely,
Dyer Bennett
VP Product Development and Training
100 Hunter Place Youngsville, NC 27596 +1-919-554-2244 www.sirchie.com

 

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