The FDA warned laboratories today that using certain transport media for COVID-19 samples with Hologic (NSDQ:HOLX) Panther and Panther Fusion diagnostic systems can produce deadly cyanide gas.
Transport media is the liquid that maintains a specimen sample while it is transported to a laboratory. The Hologic Panther systems and others that have been sterilized using bleach can interact with transport media containing guanidine thiocyanate or similar chemicals to produce deadly cyanide gas, according to the agency. Guanidine thiocyanate may be referred to as guanidinium rhodanide, guanidinium thiocyanate or guanidinium.
While there have been reports of these potentially hazardous interactions, there have been no injuries reported to the FDA associated with exposure to cyanide gas as a result of using incompatible media with testing platforms.