FDA warns of strangulation with massage machine

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massage machine intended to relieve stress and muscle tension has resulted in at least one death, according to health authorities, who are advising owners of the device to throw it away immediately.

The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert Friday saying one death and one near-strangulation have been reported with the ShoulderFlex Massager after a necklace and piece of clothing became caught in a rotating component of the device. In other cases, the FDA says people's hair became caught in the machine.

The agency urges people who own the device to "dispose of the device components separately so that the massager cannot be reassembled and used."

Manufacturer King International has distributed nearly 12,000 of the devices since October 2003 through retail stores and websites in the U.S. The company plans to recall the device, according to the FDA. The agency said it could take additional action against the company

The device was still available online Friday afternoon on Amazon.com and other websites, where it sold for about $140.

Calls placed to King's offices in Beaverton, Ore., were not immediately returned Friday.

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