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September 23, 2022

Around the nation: FDA issues cybersecurity risk alert for Medtronic insulin pumps

Daily Briefing

    FDA on Tuesday issued a cybersecurity risk alert for Medtronic MiniMed 600 series insulin pumps, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Colorado and Maryland.

    • Colorado: Centura Health on Wednesday appointed Brandon Mencini CEO of Mercy Hospital, effective Oct. 17. Previously, Mencini served as the CEO of Chippenham Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. He began his 20-year health care career as an EMT at St. Anthony Central. "During this endemic stage of COVID-19, the healthcare industry continues to evolve. It's imperative that we stay innovative in our approach to care within our region," said Mencini. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Mercy Hospital's rich history and the deep-rooted community of patients, staff, physicians and neighbors of the Four Corners region, pairing innovation and history to continue exceptional care for decades to come." (Pagosa Daily Post, 9/21)
    • Maryland: FDA on Tuesday issued a cybersecurity risk alert for Medtronic MiniMed 600 series insulin pumps. The agency warned that the pumps, which have multiple components that connect wirelessly, were vulnerable to cyberattacks from hackers—but no reports of such attacks have been made so far. According to the alert, hackers could access a pump while it was connecting to another system component, potentially hampering insulin delivery. In addition, Medtronic warned users about the cybersecurity risks, recommending that users permanently turn off the device's "Remote Bolus" feature, only share the pump's serial number with authorized personnel, and only allow the pump's components to link in a private place. (Roy, Reuters, 9/21)
    • Maryland: FDA last week issued a statement warning people about "a recent social media video challenge" called NyQuil chicken. For the challenge, people post videos and pictures of themselves pouring the cold medicine over chicken breasts in a pot or pan. While FDA clarified that consuming NyQuil chicken could lead to unsafe levels of consumption, it has not been clear whether people have been consuming the chicken or just posting pictures and videos online. So far, there have not been any reports of hospitalizations or deaths related to the challenge. However, with the increased attention surrounding NyQuil chicken, FDA issued last week's warning. "The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing—and it is," FDA said. "But it could also be very unsafe." According to the agency, "someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it." (Victor/Holpuch, New York Times, 9/22)

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