Thanks to our efficiency-minded Congress, Daylight Saving will extend three weeks earlier this year — meaning more energy savings in the US, and headaches and inconvenience around the world!
The change may be particularly concerning for owners and operators of medical devices:
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety notice telling patients that the change to daylight-saving time on March 11 could affect medical equipment that uses, creates or records time information about a patient’s diagnosis and treatment.
If device manufacturers have not updated the equipment to acknowledge the daylight-saving switch — which is occurring this year three weeks earlier than usual — the equipment might not work properly, the agency said. If chaos is coming, the FDA wasn’t specific in describing how it might arrive.
“The extent and seriousness of this problem is unclear,” the FDA wrote in the notice Thursday. “We do not know if any medical equipment will be affected, how it will be affected or how it may affect patients.”
You might conclude — just to be safe — that you ought to disconnect your insulin pump and run some magnets over your pacemaker. We’ve assessed the situation and do not recommend this. Instead, just gather your loved ones, hold their hands at 1:59 AM Sunday morning, and follow these FDA instructions:
— If you cannot determine who the manufacturer of your medical equipment is or can’t contact them, notify your doctor before March 11, 2007, to find out if it’s safe to continue using your medical equipment.
— Check your medical equipment after 2:00 AM on March 11, 2007 to make sure it displays the correct time before you rely on it. If your medical equipment displays or uses the incorrect time, tell the manufacturer about your equipment and ask your doctor before you use it.
–When you use your medical equipment after 2:00 AM on April 1, 2007, which was the old scheduled date, make sure it displays the correct time before you rely on the equipment. If your medical equipment displays or uses the incorrect time, tell the manufacturer about your equipment and ask your doctor before you use it.
You may have to go through this rigmarole again in the fall… if you survive!
More from the FDA… the NIST… and Wikipedia…