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News

Beaumont Technology Usability Center continues to help FDA implement tubing misconnection safety study

Beaumont Technology Usability Center : 04 February, 2008  (New Product)
The Beaumont Technology Usability Center will begin research on the next phase of the US Food and Drug Administration's study on tubing and catheter misconnection errors.
In 2006, the Joint Commission released a Sentinel Event Alert on the potential dangers of tubing misconnections. According to the Alert, eight deaths and one instance of permanent loss of function were due to tubing misconnections. The Alert also stated that: 'misconnection errors occur with significant frequency and, in a number of instances, lead to deadly consequences'. Many of the medical devices used to deliver medication and gases to patients have similar or even identical connectors. Research is being conducted industry-wide to ensure a safer connector design.

In December 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Social and Scientific Systems, under the support of FDA's Medical Product Safety Network (MedSun), contracted with the Beaumont Technology Usability Center (BTUC). BTUC developed an innovative risk assessment approach with several educational tools intended to increase awareness of healthcare professionals and provide strategies to reduce patient risk.

The FDA has asked BTUC to continue contributing to the nationwide initiative in the USA. BTUC clinical engineers and clinicians with the Department of Education at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, will use the new approach to examine the types of connectors that are currently in use and the potential risk associated with each setup.

'We are excited to provide results that will be used to define the next steps in this nationwide problem. By helping the FDA increase awareness, the entire healthcare community can work together to create a safer clinical environment,' said Izabella Gieras, BTUC's director of technology management.
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