Surgical staplers are No. 1 device hazard for 2020, report says

Spinal Tech

Misuse of surgical staplers is the No. 1 safety issue involving the use of medical devices and systems, according to ECRI Institute's "Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2020" report.

Earlier this year, the FDA published findings that 412 deaths, 11,181 injuries and 98,404 device malfunctions involving stapler incidents have occurred since 2011. In the past two decades, 75 stapler accidents were analyzed by ECRI, according to MedCity News. Most were related to the complexity of the devices.

"Surgical stapler issues are a problem that we deal with on a regular basis," said Robert Schluth, senior project officer of health devices for ECRI, in an interview with MedCity News. "These devices are used an awful, awful lot. Incidents with staplers certainly aren't common, but they do occur."

The top 10 technology hazards for 2020:

1. Surgical stapler misuse
2. Adoption of point-of-care ultrasound outpacing safeguards
3. Infection risks from sterile processing errors in medical and dental offices
4. Hemodialysis risks with central venous catheters
5. Unproven surgical robotic procedures
6. Alarm, alert and notification overload
7. Cybersecurity risks in connected home healthcare
8. Missing implant data that delays or adds danger to MRI scans
9. Medication errors from dose timing discrepancies in EHRs
10. Loose nuts and bolts leading to catastrophic device failures and severe injury

More articles on devices: 
Dr. Tony Mork: Reimbursement, lack of training shackles progress of endoscopic spine surgery
Neurosurgeon Dr. Griff Harsh joins ownership group of MLS franchise
DePuy Synthes recalls devices used in spine fixation system: 6 things to know 

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