New FDA Study Suggests Misuse of Medical Devices

Posted on Aug 04, 2010

New FDA Study Suggests Misuse of Medical Devices Leads to Injuries for Children and Teens

A recent FDA study estimates that 70,000 children and teenagers go to the emergency room each year because of physical problems created by medical devices. Approximately 6 percent of those 70,000 children required hospitalization. The rest were able to be treated in the emergency room.

The study found that while malfunctioning medical devices are one reason for emergency room visits, misuse of medical devices by medical professionals is another cause of serious injuries to children and teens.

Misuse of medical devices and failure to diagnose problems are matters that can be identified and may be preventable. A doctor from Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital, who was not involved in the study, suggests that health-care providers need to be more aware of the possibility that infection and other injuries may be caused by treating chronically ill children at home. Awareness can lead to faster diagnoses and fewer problems.

Additionally, health care professionals need to be aware that many of the devices they are using were intended for adult use, and may therefore be unsafe for children or teens.

The FDA is reviewing the study to determine if additional warnings should be required on FDA-approved devices to prevent serious injuries and infections in children and teenagers.

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