A man claims his activity-tracking Fitbit malfunctioned and caused third-degree burns to his wrist.
In a viral Facebook post with more than 4,000 shares as of Monday, Ethan Landers said he was fast asleep the night of Oct. 23 when he “woke up in a panic to my wrist burning.”
“I quickly realized my Fitbit was burning up so I tried frantically to get it off,” continued Landers. “With a few failed attempts, I jumped out of bed and turned the light on where my wife was able to unlatch the band on my Fitbit. It felt like it melted through my arm. There was smoke coming out of the Fitbit battery and our bedroom smelled like an electrical fire.”
Landers said in the post that he and his wife called a nurse, whom they did not identify, and explained the situation. The nurse then recommended that Landers go to a local emergency room, as the “wound was white and already blistering.”
“At the ER they cleaned out the wound, took X-rays to make sure no debris remained in my arm and then referred me to a wound clinic,” he wrote, noting professionals at the clinic told him he had suffered a third-degree burn. Landers claims he may require a skin graft.
“I do not have feeling in parts of my wrist due to nerve damage and I will have a large scar that will be with me the rest of my life,” he added. “This was a traumatic experience and I hope no one else has to go through it.”
In a statement to Fox News, a spokesperson for Fitbit said that the company is aware of Landers’s case, which they take “very seriously.”
“The health and safety of our customers is our top priority, and we take Mr. Landers’ report very seriously. We have spoken with Mr. Landers and are actively investigating this issue,” the spokesperson said. “Fitbit products are designed and produced in accordance with strict standards and undergo extensive internal and external testing to ensure the safety of our users. Users who have any concerns about their device should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The company also offers safety tips on its website, noting “Fitbit products contain electrical equipment that could cause injury if not handled properly.”
Fitbit advises those who feel “soreness, tingling, numbness, burning or stiffness in your hands or wrists while or after wearing the product” to immediately remove it or seek medical attention if the symptoms do not improve.