About 22,000 Americans have Cochlear Implants, which are devices that send sound to the brain. A blessing to those with certain types of hearing loss. But, the Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors now that some of those patients might be at risk of infections moving deep into the ear.
At least 13 people with Cochlear Implants have come down with Meningitis, including two pre-schoolers who died. Additionally, health authorities are investigating at least another dozen Meningitis cases and seven deaths among cochlear implant recipients in other countries.
The FDA issued an alert to doctors urging them to report any additional suspicious Meningitis cases. The FDA is also encouraging doctors to aggressively treat ear infections in patients who have Cochlear Implants and parents are asked to make sure children with Cochlear Implants are properly vaccinated against Meningitis.