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Medical-Device Errors And Change In Daylight Savings Time
Posted by: William Cirignani
March 14, 2007

I personally prefer to have more light in the morning than in the evening. But our government didn’t consult me when they started Daylight Savings Time earlier than usual. This change will not only impact my sleep patterns, but more seriously may skew many Calendar Software programs (you should double check all appointment times for appointments logged before the change). And while mistakes in calendering can be inconvenient, of utmost concern is the possibility of an adverse impact on medical equipment that uses date and time information. Such mistakes can be life-threatening.

According to a recent MedWatch Alert care needs to be taken by doctors and hospital personnel when making clinical decisions or using these devices between the new Daylight Savings start date, March 11, and the old start date, April 1; as well as the old end date, October 28, and the new one, November 4. Of particular concern are machines used to provide medication dosing which can present risks that include: incorrect dosing, dosing at the wrong time, missed doses, extra doses, and dosing over longer periods of time than intended.

f you or someone you know is using such machines, ask their medical provider if they’ve re-checked the date information. If you’ve already experienced a problem, be sure to report it to the FDA's MedWatch reporting program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

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March, 2007


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