Medical Device-Related Injuries High in Pediatric Population

Almost 150,000 children treated for these injuries in emergency departments in 2004 to 2005

MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- In a recent two-year period, nearly 150,000 children visited an emergency department for treatment of medical device-associated adverse events (MDAEs), suggesting a need for more intensive efforts to prevent such injuries, according to research published online July 26 in Pediatrics.

Cunlin Wang, M.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Md., and colleagues reviewed two years' worth of emergency department medical record reports of MDAEs involving pediatric patients to estimate the number and characteristics of emergency department visits for such events.

Between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 21, 2005, the researchers noted 144,799 pediatric MDAEs; contact lenses accounted for the highest proportion of these injuries (23 percent), followed by hypodermic needles (8 percent). The most common injuries were contusions or abrasions, punctures, foreign-body intrusions, infections, and lacerations, and the body parts most often harmed were the eyeball, ear, face, finger, or pubic region. Incidence of injury decreased from early childhood to age 10, after which it spiked; more girls than boys were affected at ages 16 to 21, while more boys than girls were affected at age 10 or younger.

"This study provides national estimates of pediatric MDAEs resulting in emergency department visits and highlights the need to develop interventions to prevent pediatric device-related injuries," the authors write.

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