In the 12 month period from 1999 to 2000, there were 454,383 people that suffered injuries from a medical device. Of this number, 58,000 had to be hospitalized. Accidents ranged from wheelchair failure to injury from 2,489 cases of oral laceration from improper toothbrushing.
This number only reflects the cases that were admitted to the emergency room for treatment, which means that the number may be substantially higher than expected if people did not seek immediate treatment or did not visit the emergency room. 60% of these accidents happened to women and 42% of all accidents occurred in the home.
An estimated 454,383 people suffered injuries from medical devices -- ranging from wheelchair accidents to careless toothbrushing -- in one 12-month period from 1999-2000, say researchers from two federal regulatory agencies.
- Researchers from the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission say the large number of injuries may actually be understated because the study counted only patients treated in emergency rooms.
- Even injuries occurring in hospitals---a logical place for medical device injuries---would have likely been treated elsewhere than the emergency room, they say.
- The two agencies used records from 100 hospitals statistically selected to represent 5,000 hospitals across the United States.
- The authors, writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, say that previous official FDA estimates of device injuries of 100,000 a year were low because that agency depends on public reporting of incidents instead of an examination of medical records.
- They say the study "is in concert with the health care community's concern for patient safety" following the 1999 Institute of Medicine report finding that up to 98,000 patients a year die from medical mistakes in hospitals.
- Determining the relation of a device to an injury is not simple, the authors say.
- "The contribution of a device to an adverse event may be subtle and indirect, and therefore would go unrecognized and unreported," says Hefflin.
- For instance, a fall while using crutches may happen because the patient improperly positions her hands, bumps a chair with a crutch, or is too weak or uncoordinated to use the device properly.
- By comparison, the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that in the same time period there were 39 million injuries treated in emergency rooms, ranging from 4.3 million sports injuries to 89,000 for child nursery equipment.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health author and award-winning journalist with a passion for sharing empowering information to help improve personal and planetary health He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has published numerous courses on preparedness and survival, including financial preparedness, emergency food supplies, urban survival and tactical self-defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In mid 2010, Adams produced TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural health video sharing website offering user-generated videos on nutrition, green living, fitness and more. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also a noted pioneer in the email marketing software industry, having been the first to launch an HTML email newsletter technology that has grown to become a standard in the industry. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and pursues hobbies such as martial arts, Capoeira, nature macrophotography and organic gardening. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org
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