Is There A Need In America To Track Medical Implants?

Many individuals believe that there is a strong need in America for an advanced system that can track medical implants. Some propose that there are many signs of weakness in our health care system due to the recall of thousands of medical devices, ranging from scews to artificial hips that have been medically placed in people’s body. There has been no system set in place for manufacturers to track specifically where problematic devices are or which patient has what device and if that device is actually problematic. Nevertheless, the number of implants being put into people’s bodies is unbelievably high as well as the number of recalls. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Just last year, around 2,500 medical devices were recalled to due problematic safety issues that were considered health hazards. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons stated that over 1 million hip and knee replacements were implanted in 2006 and the numbers are expected to grow immensely by 2013. Congress has recently considered a proposal that will effectively set up the nation’s first inclusive medical device registry. The primary use of the device registry would uncover plausible safety problems before an actual incident would occur and would also be used to better track patients who have the device if a recall was in question. An updated medical device registry is needed due to incidents such as, manufacturers sending out thousands of letters as well as posting their findings on the web with warnings about the problematic devices, but most times these warnings go unnoticed. In order to start the groundwork to a solution to this big medical problem, the FDA has introduced a registry for patients who have artificial joints as well as a new system that would better track the medical devices with a specific ID number. There is still much more to accomplish to make this new system work, but progress is being made on a daily basis.

-Source: Washington Post and Associates Press

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