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Personal Emergency Response Button Poses Choking Hazard: FDA

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A type of personal emergency response button worn around the neck poses a choking hazard, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.

Between 1998 and 2009, there were six reports of serious injury or death, including four deaths in the United States, after the cord on the Philips Lifeline Personal Help Button became entangled on other objects, the FDA said.

The choking risk is greatest for people with mobility limitations or for those who use wheelchairs, walkers, beds with guard rails, or other objects that could entangle with the device's neck cord.

Users and caregivers should consult with health-care providers to determine which style of emergency button is best for an individual patient, the FDA said. Some emergency buttons are worn on the wrist.

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