Dealing With Defective Medical Products
A wide range of innovative medical devices are available on the market that claim to allow patients to live longer, healthier, and with an improved quality of life. Just as we put our trust in the healthcare professionals, we trust that medical devices are going to be safe and effective. However, this is not always the case. If a device is not properly used or sterilized, it can cause serious injuries, life-threatening infections, and even death. All medical devices have to go through a rigorous approval process which typically involves years of clinical and laboratory testing with the FDA before they are introduced to ensure that the product is safe. Although the FDA is responsible for protecting the public from defective medical devices, the approval and vetting process cannot be described as foolproof.
Medical devices are sometimes introduced to the marketplace too soon. If a physician is aware that there are problems associated with the device but fails to disclose the potential health hazards with the patient this seriously jeopardizes the health and safety of the patient. Although, most defective medical devices are recalled, oftentimes it is after patients have already become injured or ill.
Examples of Defective Medical Devices
DePuy Hip Implants
DePuy Orthopaedics recalled two of their popular hip implants, including the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, after receiving complaints about implant failure and the need for painful corrective surgeries. Patients who have not experienced any complications from the implant have been advised to have their blood levels regularly checked, as they could be at risk for complications associated with elevated cobalt levels.
Certain knee replacement systems are known to cause a range of problems, including pain, swelling, instability, and heat at the replacement site. Two examples of defective knee replacement devices are the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex and the DePuy Knee Implant
A transvaginal mesh is used to correct pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. The mesh patch erodes and causes organ perforation after being implanted on the vaginal wall.
These devices are inserted into the inferior vena cava (IVC) to catch blood clots, allowing the blood to continue to flow. One of the most common injuries associated with the IVC filter is the formation of a lump at the site of insertion. Other injuries include pulmonary embolisms, cardiac issues, perforation of the IVC, and piercing of the renal vein.
Insulin pumps are used to control blood sugar levels for diabetic patients and deliver insulin through a small tube that is inserted into the skin. If the pump malfunctions, it causes serious health complications like respiratory failure, hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, and coma.
Medtronic SynchroMed II Pain Pump
Also known as an infusion pump, a pain pump uses a catheter to deliver pain medication near the spinal cord for patients who are being treated for cancer, chronic pain, and other health conditions that cause moderate to severe pain. Complications associated with the pump include overdose, lack of therapeutic effectiveness, withdrawal, respiratory depression, pump blockage, coma, and death.
If you have been injured due to the use of a defective medical product it is imperative that you seek the counsel of experienced product liability attorneys to safeguard your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.