FDA Bans Electrical Stimulation Devices for Self-Injurious or Aggressive Behavior

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week published a final rule to ban electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) used for self-injurious or aggressive behavior because they present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury that cannot be corrected or eliminated through new or updated device labeling.

ESDs administer electrical shocks through electrodes attached to the skin of individuals to immediately interrupt self-injurious or aggressive behavior or attempt to condition the individuals to stop engaging in such behavior. Evidence indicates a number of significant psychological and physical risks are associated with the use of these devices, including worsening of underlying symptoms, depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, burns, and tissue damage. In addition, many people who are exposed to these devices have intellectual or developmental disabilities that make it difficult to communicate their pain. Evidence of the device’s effectiveness is weak and evidence supporting the benefit-risk profiles of alternatives is strong.

Full article at the Administration for Community Living

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