Technology has come a long way in the past few decades, especially with advancements in the use of medical devices. Medical devices are instruments, materials, or machines that are used to treat, prevent, diagnose, or alleviate pain, an injury or a disease.
When these medical devices work as intended, they can be a literal life-saver. Unfortunately, many of these devices are not properly tested, do not undergo long-term testing, or have manufacturing defects that make them harmful to the patient. A defective medical device can cause injury, chronic pain, infection, or even death. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective medical device, talk to the experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney's who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Medical Devices
There are millions of medical devices that have been used or implanted in patients in the United States. This includes prosthetic limbs, intra-uterine devices (IUDs), implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), artificial knees, pacemakers, breast implants, spinal fusion screws and rods, artificial discs, metal screws and plates, metal rods, vaginal mesh, ear tubes, coronary stents, dialysis devices, pain pumps, knee replacements, catheters, and artificial eye lenses.
These devices treat all sorts of diseases, injuries, and ailments. Medical devices have helped people with coronary heart problems live for decades. Artificial limbs and joints have given people the ability to walk and return to a relatively normal life. Cosmetic implants give people confidence in their appearance. Artificial eye lenses allow millions with cataracts to see again.
Medical device manufacturers can end up making millions of dollars on these products. Unfortunately, that financial motivation may conflict with patient safety. Some manufacturers may be in a hurry to get these products to market and not allow these products to be fully tested to determine their long-term effects. Even if some in the company express a concern about possible problems with the device, executives may ignore these warnings in order to get the product to market.
Medical Devices Defects
Medical devices can suffer from all sorts of defects. When a car part is defective, or a children's toy has been found to be dangerous, the customer can simply return the item for a replacement, repair, or refund. However, when a medical device is effective, a simple return of the product may not be possible. Many medical devices require surgery to implant or to remove. Surgery always carries the risk of injury or death, and replacing a medical device for some may be deemed more dangerous than leaving the defective product in the body.
Other medical devices may be difficult or impossible to remove after implantation. For example, transvaginal or vaginal mesh was a medical device used in numerous surgeries for pelvic floor disorders, to provide support to tissues and organs. This mesh could be used to treat individuals with stress urinary incontinence or a pelvic organ prolapse. However, the mesh could break down over time, breaking up into smaller fragments which could cause infections and pain. It can be extremely difficult to attempt to remove all the pieces of the mesh and require a lengthy surgery. As a result, many patients had to continue suffering severe pain.
Medical Device Recalls
The FDA is responsible for approving medical devices, and when defects are later found, the FDA may issue a recall or correction of the defective devices. These recalls may include calls to repair the device, adjust settings, inspect the device for problems, change the labeling for the device, or monitoring patients for problems.
The most serious type of recall is a Class I Medical Device Recall. This involves a situation “where there is a reasonable chance that a product will cause serious health problems or death.”
Some past medical device recalls include popular hip replacement devices that could grind metal on metal, releasing tiny metal shards into the body, leading to serious health problems. Another case involved central venous catheter set where the tip could come loose and enter the patient's bloodstream. A number of patients have sought out breast implants that can rupture, leaking silicone into the body resulting in serious medical problems.
Many common medical device defects result in dangerous products being released into the body, introduction of bacteria or other infections, or blood clots, resulting in pain, infection, heart problems, stroke, and even an increased risk of cancer. Unfortunately, it is the innocent patient that has to deal with the effects of a defective medical device.
Defective Device Lawsuits
When an individual has been injured by a defective medical device, they deserve compensation from the drug company, manufacturer, or vendor of the product. These defects may involve manufacturing defects that occurred during manufacture of these devices, or design defects that render them harmful when used as intended.
Philadelphia Defective Medical Device Injury Attorneys
If you were injured because of a defective medical device, you may have a legal claim for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. If a loved one died as the result of a dangerous medical device, you should talk to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney to help you file a claim. They will fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.