Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The MediSystem (J Hewitt Inc,
Irvine, Calif) device is commonly used to pierce ears, as we discovered when
our 10-year-old daughter announced she would like to have her ears pierced.
This device appears to be similar to a device for capillary blood sampling
that was associated with an outbreak of hepatitis B.1
The instructions for cleaning the MediSystem reusable gun are as follows:
"Use MediSystem Pierced Ear Antiseptic to moisten a cotton ball or tissue.
Then clean the clasp retainers, stud holder, face of the instrument, idler
and the top of the positioning slide with the soaked cotton ball or tissue."
The ingredients in the "Pierced Ear Antiseptic" are benzalkonium chloride,
water, propylene glycol, octoxynol 9, edetate disodium, benzoyl alcohol, and
monobasic sodium phosphate.
Rosenberg R, Slivka H. A New Potential Hazard of Ear Piercing?. JAMA. 1999;282(14):1332. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-14-jbk1013