Poor QC of Implantable Orthopedic Products Can Lead to Surgical Delays and Patient Harm

January 29, 2024 | Evaluations & Guidance

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See the full 2024 list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards

In last year's Top 10 Health Technology Hazards report, ECRI expressed its concern about the unacceptably high number of defective single-use medical devices present in the supply chain. That broad concern remains, but for the current year we've focused on one specific product group: implantable single-use products intended for use during orthopedic procedures. The prevalence of quality control (QC) issues related to these products and the potential for significant short- and long-term harm when defects are present warrants additional attention.

Single-use products in orthopedics include a range of implantable items, from the simple (e.g., bone screws, nails, rods, plates) to the complex (e.g., knee or hip prostheses). Defective single-use orthopedic products can cause delays in care, and they can...

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