January 07, 2009 | | Comments 0
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Top medical device errors

Hi blog readers,

Although this posting isn’t specifically accreditation-related, I thought you might find the ECRI’s list of top 10 medical device hazards of 2008. The list is as follows:

  • Alarm hazards
  • Needlesticks and other sharps injuries
  • Air embolism from contrast media injectors
  • Retained devices and fragments left in patients
  • Surgical fires
  • Anesthesia hazards related to poor equipment inspection prior to use
  • Misleading displays on equipment
  • High radiation levels associated with CT scan
  • MRI burns
  • Fiberoptic light-source burns, usually from endoscopes, retractors, and head lamps


This year’s list differed from last years in that five new hazards were added. The ECRI institute does not want hospital staff members to think that those hazards left off the list this year are no longer problems–instead the institute felt that they should highlight some new concerns this year. Last year’s list also included burns during electrosurgery, caster failures, infusion pump programming errors, misconnection of blood pressure monitors to IV lines, and radiation therapy errors.

Do you see these hazards occurring in your facilities? How have you tried to make sure they don’t occur?

To read the ECRI Institute’s full report, click here.

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Filed Under: Patient Safety

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Heather Comak About the Author: Heather Comak is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals and a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety. Contact Heather by e-mailing her at hcomak@hcpro.com.

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