ROSEMONT, IL--(Marketwire - May 30, 2007) - Increased security measures in U.S. commercial airports have become necessary following terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and passengers sometimes spend hours going through a screening process before boarding.

Researchers from the orthopaedic surgery department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School) in Boston have published a report, in the April 2007 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, which lists the implants that are most likely to trigger detectors with new security sensitivities. They found that:

--  More than half of all orthopaedic implants may be detected by metal
--  Ninety percent of total knee replacements and all total hip
    replacements were detected, whether they were unilateral or bilateral.
--  Plates, screws, intramedullary nails and wires are rarely detected.
--  Cobalt-chromium and titanium implants are much more likely to be
    detected than stainless steel implants.
--  Lower-extremity implants are detected 10 times more often than upper-
    extremity and 11 times more than spine implants.
--  Upper-extremity prostheses, such as total shoulder replacements, total
    wrist replacements and radial head replacements, were not detected.
"Our results will aid surgeons in counseling patients regarding their implants and security agencies by identifying which medical devices commonly set off metal detectors," said Edward K. Rodriguez, MD, with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

During the one-month study, 129 volunteers with a total of 149 implants walked through an M-Scope three-zone metal detector used at commercial airports. It was programmed at both low and high levels, with sensitivities equivalent to United States Transportation Security Administration settings. Fifty-seven of the 149 implants were detected at the low-sensitivity setting, and 77 were detected at the high-sensitivity level. The type of implant, material composition and the location of the implant in the body were all independent predictors of detection.

"At the current time, we feel that our study is important, because no trials have been performed in the United States to analyze the detection of orthopaedic implants under the new security guidelines," added Dr. Rodriguez.

If you have an orthopaedic implant, the Transportation Safety Administration's (TSA) website offers the following suggestions:

--  It is recommended (but not required) that you advise the Security
    Officer that you have an implanted medical device, or metal implant and
    where that implant is located.
--  Security Officer will offer you a private screening once it becomes
    known that you have a metal implant or implanted medical device.
--  If your physician has indicated that you should not go through the
    metal detector or be hand-wanded because it could affect the functionality
    of your device or the magnetic calibration of your device, or if you are
    concerned, ask the Security Officer for a pat-down inspection instead.
--  Security Officers will need to resolve all alarms associated with
    metal implants. Most alarms will be able to be resolved during a pat-down,
    therefore clothing will not be required to be removed or lifted as part of
    the inspection process.
For more information on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, go to:

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Contact Information: Contact: Annie Hayashi (847) 384-4034 (o) (847) 682-9619 (c) Lauren Pearson (847) 384-4031 (o) (708) 227-1773 (c)