BATOD
The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

British Cochlear Implant Group and information about Safety Guidelines

In 1989, Graham Fraser formed a group called British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) to bring together those working in the implant field, whatever their profession, to promote good practice.

It is a professional body with members including clinicians working in cochlear implant centres across the UK, experts and scientists working in the field, manufacturers of cochlear implant equipment and other professionals and members of the public with an interest in cochlear implantation.

BCIG aims to provide information in the field of cochlear implantation to patients, prospective patients, families, carers, educators and other interested parties.

All cochlear implant centres in the UK are members (there is a map on the website) and contact details can be found on www.bcig.org

In 2010 the Quality Standards for Adult Cochlear Implantation and Cochlear implants for children and young people and Guidelines for professionals working with deaf children and young people, were published. These have all now been incorporated into a new standards document, which was launched at the BCIG Conference in April 2016. Contributions from Action on Hearing Loss, the National Deaf Children’s’ Society, the Cochlear Implanted Children’s Support Group and the National Cochlear Implant Users Association were used to develop this document. It can be found here.

The BCIG has published a series of Safety Guidelines over the years, which have been used by classroom teachers in their practice, planning school journeys, doing risk assessments, etc for pupils who have cochlear implants. These are reviewed routinely every two years. The most current version of the guidelines is the 2014 version.

Following the latest review BCIG has issued this statement:

Unfortunately BCIG cannot continue to provide Safety Guidelines in their current format. We are now supporting such a diverse range of processor/implant combinations (and new wireless technology) from 4 manufacturers -issued over a period of 25 years! This creates an enormous challenge in providing specific safety advice. There are also concerns about ownership of the document and litigation. BCIG hope to work closely with CI Manufacturers to develop a new safety guidelines resource. Jane Bradley will continue to chair the Safety Group and has recruited a small working group with a specific interest and knowledge of electromedical safety and a good scientific/technical understanding of CI systems and wireless technology. The group will be working with CI Manufacturers in developing a new safety guidelines resource for the website. At this time we encourage any cochlear implant user to contact the manufacturer of their device for specific information or advice.

Also on safety issues, we have just received this from Cochlear which may help clarify advice on magnets (Van de Graaf generators are a known issue).

Cochlear advice for schools re magnets in science

Cochlear were asked for advice which they could give to a secondary school asking for further information re Van de Graaff generators and working with magnets in science.

This was the response from Nicola Robertson:

This is the information we have:

  • Recipients must not touch Van de Graaff Generators and stay outside marked areas at places where these devices are at display.

  • This will also mean not touching others who are handling the Van de Graaff also. There are no recommendations for distance.

  • Regarding magnets these can be handled but not put near the implant or processor.