Noting the safety risks associated with the commonly accepted practice of using adult-sized medical devices and equipment in children, physicians are calling on device makers to manufacture pediatric-specific equipment, the Associated Press reports. Though they acknowledge the dearth of data tracking deaths or injuries related to the use of devices meant for adults in pediatric patients, physicians say “there have likely been some of each,” citing problems with adult-sized equipment. Such issues include heart valves that quickly deteriorate in growing bodies; surgical cameras that damage tissue in children because they are too big; and pacemakers that can cause infection, stroke, and even death in small patients. Device makers, however, “remain cautious” in their plans regarding pediatric-sized devices for several reasons. One example includes the prospect of added oversight under a September 2007 federal law that provides financial incentives for companies that design pediatric-specific equipment and devices but gives regulators more power to scrutinize the use of adult-sized equipment in children and requires manufacturers to cover tracking costs. Device manufacturers also see limited potential for profit in manufacturing devices meant for children, in part because the law allows companies to sell experimental pediatric-size devices without full federal approval only if the devices are used to treat rare diseases. In addition, experts note that the pediatric market is merely a fraction of the U.S. medical device market. Furthermore, the AP reports that some manufacturers may be reluctant to start testing the devices in children, particularly as companies face ongoing scrutiny regarding the safety of adult devices such as pacemakers and stents. Still, several companies are starting to market pediatric devices, according to the AP. Device maker Respironics, for instance, has created an entire subsidiary devoted to respiratory equipment for hospitalized infants, while the German firm Berlin Heart last year began testing the first heart pump for infants awaiting transplant in the United States (Perrone, AP/Boston Globe, 4/24/08 [registration required]).