Researchers from the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health say that more than 70,000 children and teens get emergency room treatment each year for medical device-related injuries.

Contact lenses are the top cause of injuries with one fourth of kids that visit ER for treatment coming because of infections and eye abrasions that result from wearing contact lenses too long without cleaning them.
Most serious medical device-related problems reported are from implanted devices such as brain shunts for kids with hydrocephalus (water on the brain); chest catheters for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at home; and insulin pumps for diabetics.

Other medical devices related problems are from puncture wounds from needle injections of medicine or illegal drugs, infection in young children with rear tubes, and skin tears from pelvic devices used during gynecological exams in teen girls.

The study published on Monday in Pediatrics report that only 6 percent of patients overall had to be hospitalized.

The researchers analyzed medical records from a national injury surveillance system. The data on ER visits from about 100 nationally representative hospitals showed that 144,799 medical device-related problems occurred during 2004 and 2005, or more than 70,000 yearly.

The study is the first to evaluate device-related injuries in children only, according to study co-author Dr. Brock Hefflin.

Recently, concerns about medical device safety increased because many devices children use were intended for adults. Hefflin and lead author Dr. Cunlin Wang point to malfunction and misuse as possible reasons for medical device-related injuries in children.