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The ABC's of IFU's

Written By: 
Cindy Maley / Product Manager

IFU’s or Instructions for Use, sometimes called Owner’s Manuals or simply Operating Instructions are everywhere. From the one page sheet that comes with that new table lamp to the 1 lb tome included with your new flat screen TV, you can't escape them. Some complex products even include a cd, or more recently direct you to a website where you can read and/or download and print the often ginormous IFU.

Medical device IFU’s are often required by law and must follow a very specific format that starts by describing the product’s intended use and typically follows with a list of warnings that often seem silly but are frequently the byproduct of our litigious society (California Prop 65 warnings come to mind). They then describe how to use and finally care for the product. The IFU’s typically finish with a trouble shooting guide, detailed product specs and ultimately a warranty statement.

The importance of reading medical device IFU’s can't be overstated. Whether you're a patient unfamiliar with the device, or a medical professional who can no longer keep up with the myriad devices on the market (or variations on the same device) IFU's can prevent potentially dangerous misuse. Use your TV remote incorrectly and you perhaps get the wrong channel or aspect ratio. Annoying yes. Life threatening - probably not unless you have serious TV addiction issues. Use that BP device incorrectly and you risk a bad reading which could lead to misdiagnosis and ultimately inappropriate treatment. And on a more complex medical device, the risks of misuse can be far more serious. Even deadly.

Some complex devices include quick start guides. We like them but more as a refresher than a substitute for reading through the full IFU.

Download all ADC IFUs from the Download Library.At ADC, many of our products include an IFU. On simple products, the IFU may be printed on the package. On more complex products the IFU is in booklet form and is included inside the package. We typically print the IFU in English though a few are in up to 3 languages. ALL IFU’s are also published on the product pages AND in the Download Library section of our website in up to 5 languages with additional languages added regularly.

ADC’s IFU’s (try saying that three times fast) are regularly updated as products evolve. Always refer to the website for the most up to date revision. And should you find errors or omissions, don’t hesitate to email us with your suggestions. Happy reading.

Click here for a quick link to our Download Library to find all ADC IFU’s