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Medical Devices Injure 70,000 Kids Each Year

FDA researchers have published a study in Pediatrics that analyzed patient records from child and teen ER visits in 2004 and 2005. The investigators are reporting that 70,000 kids each year go to the ER because of issues caused by medical devices.

About a quarter of the injuries were from contact lenses, while the other major contributors were needles, wheelchairs, braces, and obstetric exam tools. The study also looked at the devices most likely to cause hospitalization, and they were found to be mostly invasive devices like ostomy appliances and implanted defibrillators.

From the study abstract:

Results The total estimated number of pediatric medical device associated adverse events (MDAEs) during the 24-month period was 144799 (95% confidence interval: 113051–183903), involving devices from 13 medical specialties. Contact lenses accounted for most MDAEs (23%), followed by hypodermic needles (8%). The distribution of MDAEs according to medical specialty varied according to age subgroup. The most-prevalent types of injuries included contusions/abrasions, foreign-body intrusions, punctures, lacerations, and infections. The most-frequently affected body parts were the eyeball, pubic region, finger, face, and ear. The majority of pediatric MDAEs involved class II (moderate-risk) devices. The incidence of pediatric MDAEs decreased with increasing age from early to late childhood and then spiked after 10 years of age. More girls than boys were affected at older ages (16–21 years) and more boys than girls at younger ages (≤10 years). Hospitalizations were more likely to involve invasive or implanted devices.

Article in Pediatrics: Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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