FDA cautions users of Philips Lifeline

The FDA has cautioned users of personal emergency response buttons worn around the neck of a potential choking hazard associated with this product.

The FDA is aware of at least six reports between 1998 and 2009 of serious injury or death, including three deaths in the U.S. and one in Canada, from choking after the cord on the Philips (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) Lifeline Personal Help Button became entangled on other objects worn around the neck.

There are more than 750,000 users of these devices in the U.S. and Canada. By pushing the "help" button on the device when in distress, users can call for emergency assistance to their home. According to Philips Lifeline, the device is used primarily by seniors living independently, who feel they are at risk for falls or other medical emergencies.

The Lifeline pendant button is intentionally designed to not break away when tugged, which prevents the button from accidentally falling off. However, because it does not break away, there is a risk of choking, including the possibility of serious injury or death. Risks are greater for those with mobility limitations or for those who use wheelchairs, walkers, beds with guard rails, or other objects that could entangle with a neck cord.

Philips Lifeline has changed the labeling of this product to include a warning against the potential choking hazard.

Hospital launches EDIMS nursing documentation

EDIMS (Livingston, New Jersey) said that LibertyHealth, a two-hospital health system in northern New Jersey, has launched EDIMS' nursing documentation and charge capture systems to help improve care quality and streamline operations. With the addition of these components, LibertyHealth, which implemented EDIMS' computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and physician documentation module last March, now has a complete electronic health record (EHR) in its emergency departments.

"Our ED nurses played an essential role in choosing the nursing documentation module to add to LibertyHealth's other successful EDIMS platforms," Joe Scott, president/CEO of LibertyHealth, said. "They picked EDIMS because it is the most nurse-friendly system on the market and the most straightforward system for capturing charges. In fact, when we saw how the EDIMS system automatically populated the billing system through the nurse documentation, we were sold."

UCSF adds BSD hyperthermia system

BSD Medical (Salt Lake City) reported that the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) has acquired a BSD-500 hyperthermia system (BSD-500). According to BSD, UCSF is a world leader in hyperthermia and has the largest and most versatile hyperthermia program on the West Coast, and its radiation oncology team has added the capabilities of the BSD-500 to its growing hyperthermia cancer treatment program.

The BSD-500 hyperthermia system is FDA approved to deliver therapeutic heat (hyperthermia) alone or in conjunction with radiotherapy to treat certain malignant tumors by the use of either external or interstitial application of energy. The BSD-500 has been used extensively to treat patients with recurrent breast cancer. Previous studies have demonstrated that hyperthermia in conjunction with radiation significantly improved local tumor control in recurrent breast cancer patients and may improve survival in some patients, according to the company.