Contemporary medical devices have revolutionized health care. Amazing feats of medical science that couldn’t have been imagined even ten years ago are commonplace today. These amazing devices make lives better all around the world – but only when they are designed and used correctly.
An improperly designed or defective medical device can cause harm rather than good. It can be extremely dangerous, particularly since these devices are often implanted in the body.
Some manufacturers will even attempt to dodge responsibility for the problems with their medical devices. They engage in cover-ups and deny something is wrong with the device. The product, therefore, remains in use in hospitals and medical supply stores – and patients suffer. The Food and Drug Administration exists to protect people from these defective devices. However, by the time the FDA becomes alerted of a problem and intervenes, the damage has often been done to hundreds or thousands of patients who used the faulty device.
Where Do Defective Medical Devices Come From?
It would seem difficult to believe that a faulty medical device could become widely sold. Since the consequences of them can be so extreme, common sense would say these devices would be tested extensively before being allowed on the shelves. Ideally, this is what happens.
However, there are many legal loopholes that allow medical and pharmaceutical companies to skip steps in safety testing, allowing them to bring products to market faster. When a device is not properly researched or tested before being sold, the chances of it being defective are much higher.
The FDA’s job is to protect the public from this. Products are supposed to undergo
years of testing before being approved by the FDA. However, even in cases where proper regulations are in fact followed, these tests aren’t perfect. Some medical devices may pass the test and still be defective. These are very unfortunate cases, because it usually takes a large number of consumers being injured before the product is recalled or the FDA launches an investigation.
Any medical device can be defective. Some are more common than others. A few examples of devices that can be defective include the following:
- Pacemakers failing to keep a proper heart rhythm or stopping altogether
- Leaking or breaking heart valve implants
- Poorly sterilized IUDs or gynecological devices
- Defective joint implants
- Breast implants damaging the immune system
The health problems potentially caused by a malfunctioning medical device can be extreme. Particularly when a patient needs a particular device to survive, like a pacemaker, a malfunction can cause death before he or she can get medical assistance. Poorly sterilized devices can cause serious infections, sometimes leading to infertility or amputation.
If you or somebody in your family has been injured by a defective medical device, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. The medical care resulting from the malfunction can sometimes be extremely costly, without even mentioning the emotional consequences. You may be eligible for compensation for current and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At WKW, we know how difficult it can be to live with injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one due to defective medical devices. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and to hear about the legal options that are available to you and your family.
Defective Medical Devices We’re Investigating