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  • Posted May 12, 2024

Avoid Overheating Dangers When Recharging Medical Devices

If you use a medical device such as a blood glucose monitor or insulin pump, keeping it charged is a must. 

But devices that rely on a USB charger can overheat, which may cause minor injuries, serious burns or fires. That's why it's important to read, understand and follow the manufacturer's use and care directions and use only approved charging accessories.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tips for safe charging:

  • Use cables, chargers and adaptors that came with the device when you charge. Accessories from the manufacturer provide the correct amount of power to charge it. Third-party charging accessories, including those meant for other phones or tablets, may provide too much power, overheat, spark or catch on fire.

  • Examine your medical device and charging accessories often for damage, such as warping. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts if you see damage.

  • Charge your device when you are awake and put it where you can easily see it. Do not charge devices on or near a soft surface like a bed, couch or fabric, where it can overheat more easily.

  • Unplug the charger when your device is fully charged. Do not leave a fully charged medical device plugged in.

  • Protect your device from temperature extremes -- for example, don't leave it in a car on a very cold or hot day or in direct sunlight.

If you have questions about charging your device or need a copy of the instructions, contact the manufacturer. Report any problems with your medical device to the FDA's MedWatch program.

More information

The National Library of Medicine has more about using medical devices safely.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, May 9, 2024

What This Means for You

Charging medical devices safely can prevent injury, burns or fires and ensure it's ready to use when you need it.

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