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South Carolina Advisory: Medical Device Misuse Hurts 70,000 Kids In US Annually

South Carolina Advisory: Medical Device Misuse Hurts 70,000 Kids In US Annually

We live in an age where good hygiene and healthy living are a near obsession. While much talk has been put forth about fixing the state of health care insurance, little attention has been given to the physical aspects of the industry.A recent report put out by the Food and Drug Administration suggests that problems inherent with medical devices and products combined with their misuse by medical professionals is causing harm to 70,000 children annually in the US. Specifically, these problems have been found in several areas, but those areas are ones that could possibly cause the greatest harm.

The most common injuries can result from common household items like contacts. If not kept properly clean, potentially debilitating eye infections can result. In other areas though, improper use of these products can cause great harm. Cited in the study as some of the most common problem areas found were “include puncture wounds from hypodermic needles breaking off in the skin while injecting medicine or illegal drugs; infections in young children with ear tubes; and skin tears from pelvic devices used during gynecological exams in teen girls.” Unfamiliarity with the product being used by medical professionals could be one potential cause of injury in some of these cases. The study was the first ever to be conducted about the rate of device only injuries in Children.

The report cites particular concern with treatment that is administered at home, unsupervised by medical professionals. It states “The most serious problems involved implanted devices such as brain shunts for kids with hydrocephalus (water on the brain); chest catheters for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at home; and insulin pumps for diabetics. Infections and overdoses are among problems associated with these devices.” One of the doctors who reviewed the study had this to say “Health care providers need to be aware of these kids and their devices and how to recognize or diagnose” related problems, Krug said”. Dr. Steven Krug, head of emergency medicine at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital. The researchers determined their findings by analyzing medical records from ER visits reported in a national injury surveillance system. They were able to estimate that 144,799 medical device-related complications occurred during 2004 and 2005, or more than 70,000 yearly.

Charleston Child Medical Malpractice Attorneys want to make the public aware of this study as it highlights potential dangers that could occur to a large segment of the population that is dealing with a loved one or dependent who is sick or injured. Proper education on the medical product being used and a good choice of competent medical personal will lower the risks involved for the caregivers.

Source: The State, “Medical device problems hurt 70,000+ kids annually”,By Lindsey Tanner, July 27th, 2010

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