UK Recall Notice Shows Even the Simplest Devices Capable of Causing Patient Harm

Posted 25 July 2013 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Medical devices are often complicated products-something reflected in a great deal of recall notices around the world. Sometimes a mechanical defect can imperil the safety of a multimillion-dollar piece of machinery; other times a simple software glitch can have unintended consequences. And then there's a recall notice issued by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 24 July 2013 involving ostensibly the simplest of all devices: a walking stick.

The walking sticks in question are manufactured by Patterson Medical, a medical device company that makes a wide range of mobility and rehabilitation products. In the case of its "Days Walking Stick," however, certain batches have defective handles which can crack, causing the user-often an elderly person-to fall, a potentially devastating event that can lead to serious complications.

Patterson had issued a field alert about the issue in June 2013, but said it had "insufficient confirmation from users that they [had] acted" to return the products.

Even the simplest devices, it seems, can have effects that are as dangerous as the most complex ones.

Patterson Medical Recall Notice

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