Study: Wireless systems at hospitals could cause deadly glitch in dialysis, breathing machines
Wireless systems used by many hospitals to keep track of medical equipment can cause potentially deadly breakdowns in lifesaving devices such as breathing and dialysis machines, researchers reported Tuesday in a study that warned hospitals to conduct safety tests.
Some of the microchip-based "smart" systems are touted as improving patient safety, but a Dutch study of equipment - without the patients - suggests the systems could actually cause harm.
A U.S. patient-safety expert said the study "is of urgent significance" and said hospitals should respond immediately to the "disturbing" results.
The wireless systems send out radio waves that can interfere with equipment such as respirators, external pacemakers and kidney dialysis machines, according to the study.