Doctors Know Very Little About The Devices They Shove Inside Of You
from the well-that-makes-me-feel-great dept
In a story that probably isn't going to make many people feel particularly safe, the NY Times notes that, doctors have less safety information about the devices they stick into people than consumers have about the safety ratings on their cars. It turns out that the information isn't really collected, and what information is collected isn't available to the doctors who make the decision about what devices like pace makers and hip replacements to use. That means it takes a lot longer to realize when a certain product has serious safety issues -- putting many more people at risk. Also, if the data were more publicly available, it would force the makers of these devices to take safety issues a bit more seriously. As it stands right now, the FDA does get some info, but they don't seems to share it publicly. The story starts off with an anecdote about an attempt to collect much more data for these purposes... but, which got blocked for a few reasons, including that Medicare would have to change their forms and software (and, also, the fact that collecting such data is illegal right now). Given the strict regulatory efforts in the healthcare space, you would certainly expect a bit more attention to be paid to such things.