Wednesday, December 14, 2005

a new implant fear?

From the Olympian in Olympia, Washington:

It was October at a church playground. Taylor, deaf for almost two years, ran to her father. She told him her cochlear implant — an electronic device that lets her hear — had suddenly fizzled.

It had been zapped by a static electric shock. Chris Zinderski hadn't switched off his daughter's implant because he didn't believe that static could really be a problem.

*clip and skip*

The type of clothes and length of the slide didn't matter much. But humidity did. In the cold, dry air of winter, Morley's daughters achieved charges of about 10,000 volts. Morley says that in the dry air of Tucson, Ariz., a colleague measured 20,000 volts after a slide.

In coming months, he will apply those voltages to test implants, which are rated to withstand 8,000 volts, according to Doug Miller, an engineer with Cochlear Americas, one of the manufacturers of the devices.

The story goes on to say that most of the materials they use today in playgrounds, made from PVC and cheap plastics instead of steel, have a higher chance of causing such shocks to implants. They can be repaired easily, if, of course, your insurance covers it.

Question to any Deaf people reading this: What does your insurance cover in terms of hearing aids and implants? Find out?

1 comment:

KA said...

My insurance covers up to $500.00. My hearing aid cost? No idea. I intend to call to find out. Thanks for reminding me.