For those of you who may have missed the evening news this week, the medical consultant for ABC’s program discussed several problems associated with implanted prosthetic devices. Several manufacturer’s have voluntarily removed the devices in question from the market while other manufacturers are monitoring patients in an effort to identify concerns early. The voluntary recall includes several types of knee and hip prosthetics that are commonly used in elderly patients.
As many of our members are providing care for short-term rehab/community bound residents it is important to stay informed. Many of the residents coming to us for rehab may not know what type of device was used to replace a joint however there are records available at the hospital. There are regulations that clearly outline the process of tracking implanted devices including the brand, model, number (each device has a unique number), etc. The oneness does fall upon the hospital to track this information however it should also be something that we consider doing as well.
It is highly recommended that the FDA recommendations regarding implanted devices be reviewed on their website at www.fda.gov to ensure your facility has the information needed to monitor for adverse reactions. In the event a negative outcome is experienced related to device failure, dislocation, infection, etc. you may be in a better position to defend the care provided in your facility.
It is also very important that licensed nurses performing assessments on residents with implanted devices be aware of complications that may occur. This information will assist in developing a plan of care that meets each residents needs and provide educational opportunities for residents and staff on the signs and symptoms of an adverse reaction. Remember, it is our responsibility to be aware of and understand the medical conditions our residents have so that we are able to provide appropriate, individualized care.