'Lifeline' could be deathline
By James Limbach, ConsumerAffairs.com
The Food and Drug Administration today is warning people who wear personal emergency response buttons around the neck of a potential choking hazard.
The agency says it is aware of at least six reports between 1998 and 2009 of serious injury or death, including three deaths in the United States and one in Canada, from choking after the cord on the Philips Lifeline Personal Help Button became entangled on other objects worn around the neck.
More than 750,000 people use these devices in the United States and Canada. By pushing the "help" button on the device when in distress, users can call for emergency assistance to their home. Philips Lifeline says the device is used primarily by seniors living independently, who feel they are at risk for falls or other medical emergencies.
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