Contact lenses send many to hospitals

Contact lenses send many to hospitals

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 70,000 children and teenagers who go to emergency rooms each year do so with injuries and com­plications from medical devices such as contact lenses, accord­ing to the first detailed national estimate.

About one-fourth of the prob­lems were things like infections and eye abrasions from contact lenses. These are sometimes preventable and can result from wearing contact lenses too long without cleaning them.

The most serious problems found by U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers in­volved implanted devices such as brain shunts for children 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 researchers are work­ing to determine how and why the injuries occurred and also are examining the prevalence in adults. Those efforts might result in FDA device warnings, said the report’s co-author, Dr. Brock Hefflin.


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