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Cochlear Implants Could Cause Bacterial Meningitis

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 11th, 2007

The FDA is warning consumers that the Cochlear Implant device used in profoundly deaf or severely hard-of hearing patients has been associated with some increased risk of bacterial meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. Children implanted with Cochlear Implants with a positioner component are at a greater risk. There were two cases of deaths from meningitis within the past year in children, ages 9 and 11, implanted with cochlear implants with positioners. Neither child was fully vaccinated, and one died because of the lack of vaccination.

FDA reminds healthcare professionals and consumers that recipients of this device must be fully immunized according to the Center for Disease (CDC) vaccination recommendations. Because children with Cochlear Implants are at increased risk for pneumococcal meningitis, CDC recommends that they receive pneumococcal vaccination under the same schedules that apply to other individuals at high risk for invasive pneumococcal disease.

Your doctor is responsible to ensure any device, medicine or procedure will not harm you or make your situation worse.

The official FDA news release: