Watch Out for DST Change Sunday, FDA Advises

The Food and Drug Administration posted a notice last Friday that warns health care professionals and consumers of the possibility some medical devices and equipment, hospital networks, and associated IT systems may generate adverse events because of this Sunday's start of Daylight Savings Time and also DST's later-than-usual end this fall.

FDA's alert suggested ways to prevent such problems. Medical equipment that uses, creates, or records time information about a patient's diagnosis or treatment and has not been updated by the manufacturer may not work properly when the new DST starts three weeks earlier and ends one week later this year, it said. Medical equipment currently in use probably was manufactured before the DST rules were changed and may cause patients' equipment to register the wrong dates for the start and end this year.

Possible problems in treatment or diagnostic results include incorrect prescriptions or those provided at the wrong time, missed, given more than once, given for longer or shorter durations than intended, or incorrectly recorded, FDA said. Visit www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/030107-dst.html and www.fda.gov/cdrh/medicaldevicesafety/atp/030107-dst.html to read the agency's Medical Device Safety Alert and Public Health Notification.

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