ShoulderFlex Side Effects: Death and Strangulation

The ShoulderFlex Massager was a massager meant for personal use to ease of the soreness of muscles of neck, shoulder and back, while the user lies flat on the back. The massager had a handheld controller, memory foam pillow, and a sleeve that was machine washable. The rotating bar of the massager had “fingers”, which could be adjusted as per the user’s choice of depth and intensity of massage. These fingers were detachable and could be used as per wish. It could be used at any place where convenient and the manufacturer claimed to have sold almost 11,934 devices in a span of 8 years from 2003 till 2011.

The 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 . 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.

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