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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Safety

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Medical Equipment That Uses or Displays Time

Audience: Healthcare professionals, hospital directors and safety managers, consumers

[Posted 03/02/2007] FDA notified healthcare professionals and consumers of the possibility that some medical devices/equipment, hospital networks and associated information technology systems may generate adverse events because of the upcoming change in the start and end dates for Daylight Savings Time (DST), and suggested actions to prevent such occurrences. 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. Medical equipment currently in use was likely made before the DST rules were changed and may cause patient's equipment to register the wrong dates for the start and end of daylight savings time this year.

Additionally, if a medical device or medical device network are adversely affected by the new DST date changes, a patient's treatment or diagnostic result could be

  • incorrectly prescribed
  • provided at the wrong time
  • missed
  • given more than once
  • given for longer or shorter durations than intended
  • incorrectly recorded

Healthcare professionals and consumers are encouraged to see the attached Medical Device Safety Alert and Public Health Notification for recommendations on what to do if their medical equipment uses or displays time.

[March 01, 2007 – Preliminary Public Health Notification – FDA]
[March 01, 2007 – Advice for Patients – FDA]