Contact Lens and Medical Device Injuries In Children

Injuries caused by contact lens are a serious problem in Georgia and elsewhere. The consequences of injuries from these seemingly harmless devices can be life changing, including blindness. Our lawyers have just recently concluded several cases involving injuries sustained by contact lens wearers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just released a report which reveals that more than 70,000 children and teens go to the emergency room each year for injuries and complications from medical devices. Contact lenses are the leading cause of these visits.
The F.D.A. researchers analyzed medical records from ER visits reported in a national injury surveillance system. Based on data from about 100 nationally representative hospitals, they estimated that 144,799 medical device-related complications occurred during 2004 and 2005, or more than 70,000 yearly.
Almost 34,000 problems were linked with contact lenses in the two-year period. The rest were scattered among 12 other categories including general medical devices such as needles and catheters, gynecology devices and heart devices.
The problems related to infections and eye abrasions in contact lens wearers are sometimes easily preventable. They can result from wearing contact lenses too long, failure to follow the recommended cleaning procedures, and reusing cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Others can be caused by defective cleaning and disinfecting products.
The F.D.A. indentified other common problems causing emergency department visits by children and teens. These 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 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. Only 6 percent of patients overall had to be hospitalized.
The study appears in Pediatrics, published online today.

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