KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medical Device Complications Send More Than 70,000 Kids To ER Annually

The Associated Press: The first detailed national estimate on complications in medical device use by children says that more than 70,000 kids a year have to go to emergency rooms because of complications from medical devices, with contact lenses the leading culprit. "About one-fourth of the problems were things like infections and eye abrasions in contact lens wearers. ... Other common problems ... 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." The study by the Food and Drug Administration appears in the medical journal "Pediatrics," and was published online Monday. In the two-year study, nearly 34,000 of the 144,799 medical device complications in kids during 2004-2005 at 100 national hospitals came from contact lens use (Tanner, 7/26). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.