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Author Topic: What to Do about Unretrieved Device Fragments  (Read 4841 times)
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« on: January 08, 2008, 07:00:56 PM »


[span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']What to Do about Unretrieved Device Fragments

A recent FDA article in the journal Nursing2007 alerts healthcare personnel about the potential dangers posed by fragments of medical devices that are left in a patient's body. FDA receives more than a thousand reports each year of device fragments breaking off during invasive procedures or from devices already implanted in the body. The fragments may have been left in the body because they could not be retrieved or because the risk of removing them was greater than the risk of leaving them in place.

Many of these reports involve fragments of catheters and guidewires that are left in the patient's body, and some have caused death. In one case, a patient died from cardiac tamponade after a fractured guide wire lodged in a coronary artery and could not be removed.

The article also points out that metallic fragments in the patient's body can move or become heated during MRI exams, and if the fragment is near a vital organ or blood vessel, this can cause injury.

Several dangerous techniques can increase the likelihood of device breakage, such as using too much force during insertion or withdrawal, bending a device to conform to the patient's anatomy, and using old or worn devices.

The article lists several steps healthcare personnel can take to minimize the risks associated with unretrieved device fragments. Here are some of them:

« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 07:05:14 PM by Birdbomb » Logged

"If you are going through hell, keep going." (Sir Winston Churchill, 1874-1965)
VNS implanted Sept 02, turned off Dec 04, Generator ex-planted Nov 07
Electrodes are in me for LIFE!
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