ShoulderFlex Massager Side Effects: Death and Strangulation

The ShoulderFlex Massager was a massager meant for personal use to ease soreness of muscles in the neck, shoulder and back. While the user lies flat on their back, the user would control the massager with a handheld contoller. The massager comes with a memory foam pillow, and a machine washable sleeve.  The ShoulderFlex offered the user the ability to adjust the intensity and depth of massage by adjusting the “fingers” on the rotating bar. These “fingers”  were detachable allowing the user to completely customize thier massage. Another benefit to the machine was it’s portability, the user was able to use it in any convenient location.  The manufacturer has claimed to have sold nearly 12,000 units between 2003 and 2011. However, due to complications, injuries and risk of death to it’s users, the manufacturer is planning to recall the items.

The side effects associated with the device are strangulation and death, and these are the reasons why FDA along with the manufacturer is planning a recall of the ShoulderFlex Massager. There have been cases of one death and one near- strangulation reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and FDA is aware of the same. The events have said to occur when a necklace and a piece of cloth got entangled with the rotating part of the device, while it was in use. As per the reports, the lady who died due to this machine was using the machine at the time the mishap took place. She was wearing a necklace, at the time of using the device, which got entangled with one of the exposed rotating gear on the electric massager, causing severe and critical compression of the carotid artery, thereby causing her death. Other than this, it is to be believed that the manufacturer, Kings International has few more incident reports of near strangulation, and clothing and hair getting caught in the massager. The demonstration meant for promotional purposes did advise the users to avoid wearing jewellery, loose clothing or loose hair, however it did not explicitly mention that not following these instructions could cause strangulation or death or other hazards that could be life threatening.

As a part of the commitment to safety, Kings International has informed FDA that it has initiated a recall of the device. There have been almost 12,000 devices sold in all, including the sales done at shops, through catalogs like Lifestyle Fascination and online stores like Amazon in the United States.

The manufacturer has not only initiated a recall but has also advised all the consumers, retailers and catalog sellers to stop selling the device and dispose it in a manner so that it cannot be re- used.

In case, anyone has suffered in any way after using ShoulderFlex Massager, the same should be brought to limelight and compensation should be claimed.