Parents warned over fake digital thermometers

An example of a fake thermometer One of the fake thermometers seized in the MHRA raids

Parents have been warned about the sale on the internet of dangerous fake digital thermometers.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seized more than 400 fake digital thermometers after raids in Harrow and Oxford.

Some of the fakes were being sold for as little as 99p.

The MHRA warned they could give inaccurate readings, posing a serious threat to children with potentially fatal illnesses such as meningitis.

Start Quote

It is vital that people do not buy or use cheap, unapproved medical devices”

End Quote Dr Nicola Lennard, MHRA

The raids were launched after the parents of a young child with leukaemia used a fake thermometer they had bought online and realised it was giving a misleading reading. The child had a high temperature and was rushed to hospital for urgent medical care.

The MHRA says the fake thermometers have no recognised brand name and can be identified by the fact that they do not have the right CE safety markings, warnings or instructions for use.

They may also have no instruction leaflets or four-digit identification number, which would show the thermometer had been through the appropriate safety assessment.

During a UK-wide operation, the MHRA also seized other fake medical devices from locations around the UK, including seven counterfeit Kiddicare cool pads and three counterfeit Slendertone devices that had been sold on eBay.

The MHRA is also investigating into how these products came onto the UK market.

Dr Nicola Lennard, the MHRA's deputy clinical director, said: "Inaccurate readings from cheap, fake thermometers could result in a delay to a child getting the medical treatment they need and it is vital that people do not buy or use cheap, unapproved medical devices.

"The MHRA is working with internet sites to ensure that fake medical devices are not sold to people, and we urge the public to report faulty medical devices."

This can be done via the MHRA's Adverse Incident Hotline on 020 3080 7080 or via its website.

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