Mavidon, the maker of collodion, one of the most commonly used EEG electrode adhesives, issued a product recall at the end of December 2019 due to possible contamination. This had techs across the country scrambling to find a substitute until the recall was amended in January 2020.

Still, the recall and subsequent update underscored concerns expressed by Connie Kubiak, President of ASET the Neurodiagnostic Society, just days before the recall was reversed: EEG techs and their departments aren’t always first in line to receive important product information like this.

This, she told Neurology Insights, is because EEG techs aren’t always on the radar of hospital administrators – they often don’t know the difference between EEG and ECG techs.

“We’re the people in the basement who nobody knows, and people don’t really understand what we use and what we do. If you’re part of a huge corporate entity, did [this news] trickle down to where you were?” she wondered. “Did they assume that because it was cardiology products, that it was only cardiology? Or did they also know that EEG uses it too?”

Mavidon’s skin preparation products are commonly used by cardiology techs. They also make collodions, used by EEG techs to adhere electrodes to the skin and scalp, and collodion removers such as acetone.

In October 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected Mavidon’s Riviera Beach, Florida, facility and later reported that samples of one product were found to be contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia, a multidrug-resistant pathogenic microorganism that can cause serious infections and can be life-threatening for patients with compromised immune systems.

By the end of December, Mavidon issued a voluntary worldwide recall of products manufactured in their Riviera Beach plant. Mavidon amended its recall in early January, removing collodion, collodion remover, medical adhesive remover and acetone. The root cause of the contamination, the company said, was found in their deionized filtered water. Since collodion and the other products don’t contain any water, they are no longer part of the recall.

The temporary collodions recall was of greatest concern to EEG techs because, according to Kubiak, it’s the number one product for adhering electrodes to people’s heads for long-term monitoring. Finding a substitute product that works as well has been a big struggle.

Some have suggested switching to disposable products such as single-use electrodes that don’t depend on external sources of collodion. Kubiak said there has been resistance to this suggestion.

The biggest factor? Cost. People think they will save money on reusable electrodes because they pay one time for something that lasts all year – but, Kubiak said, they don’t realize they may not realize cost savings “if they are paying a tech $30 an hour to clean electrodes five times a day, and then they have to be sterilized.”