Massage Device Eyed In Doctors Death

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 1:24pm

FDA issues warning in wake of strangulation.

The death of Florida radiologist found strangled on Christmas Eve has prompted an FDA recall of the neck massager that led to her death.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the device found next to Dr. Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson's lifeless body was King International's ShoulderFlex Massager.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the ShoulderFlex on Friday, linking its rotating components to Ferrari-Gegerson's death and one other near-strangulation.

"It's a very dangerous device and were glad they're taking it off the market," said her husband, Dr. Kenneth Gegerson.

He said a lawsuit over his wife's death is pending.

Police say Ferreri-Gegerson, 37, was alone wrapping gifts at her Parkland home and was about to get ready to go to work when she laid down to use the massager and her necklace apparently caught in its moving parts.

The necklace quickly tightened, causing Ferrari-Gegerson to pass out and stop breathing.

In other cases, users' hair has become caught in the ShoulderFlex, according to the FDA.

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

The ShoulderFlex, which retailed for about $130, is no longer available for retail purchase.

According to the FDA, King International sold nearly 12,000 of the devices since 2003.

The 12-pound device has rotating "ringers" inside a memory foam pillow, and was once touted as a do-it-yourself deep tissue massage.

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