Most Dangerous Medical Technologies

Medical technologies can be dangerous. In fact, many people die because of inappropriate medical technologies being used on them. However, it is also true that many people have saved their lives due to advances in medical technology. Life expectancy has increased dramatically in countries where medical technologies are in constant progress.

A new report, titled "Top 10 Health Technology Hazards" and published by the ECRI Institute, tells the whole story about the most dangerous medical technologies. Some problems are related to equipment failure, bad equipment and device design, and some to human error in using medical technologies. Here is the complete "TOP TEN" most risky medical technology list.

  1. Problem with non functioning alarms. Alarms are a big problem with medical technologies. Alarm failure is usually involved in not warning the danger in a patient.
  2. Sharp objects, needle sticks. These are usually involved in infections from simple streptococcus to life threatening HIV
  3. Air embolism is a big risk. This usually happens when using contrast media injectors in angioplasty. The introduction of air bubbles into the blood stream is usually a problem with dangerous effects (death)
  4. Extraneous matter left in patients after surgery. Syringes, needles, cotton swabs, etc. are frequently left in patients with bad consequences.
  5. During surgery sometimes surgical fires occur. These happen when an ignition source lights a combustible source in surgery rooms. For example, oxygen can be ignited by a laser device. These are not very frequent but they do occur from time to time.
  6. Problems and issues with anaesthesia equipment.
  7. Mal functioning displays, which give ambiguous or confusing data, such as vital signs.
  8. Exposure to the high level of radiation when CT scans is PERFORMED. The study reveals that 6,000 additional cancers are provoked by excessive radiation received by patients.
  9. Burns caused by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  10. Fiber-optic light-source burns,

As you can see there are many risks involved in using medical technologies. They can save live but those risks need to be evaluated and controlled.


Top 10 Health Technology Hazards. ECRI Institute