Medical devices and equipments are manufactured to protect you and your family. These devices are supposed to extend one’s life or make life better. Unfortunately, there are certain cases wherein a medical professional uses defective and flawed medical devices which cause more harm than good. Because of this, millions of patients have suffered from serious injuries throughout the years.
When a medical or pharmaceutical company makes a mistake, the patient who uses the implanted medical device will pay the price. The consequences of such mistakes can be fatal. Injuries can range depending on various factors. The most common injuries reported by patients include:
- Facial lacerations
- Broken bones
- Knee, and ankle injuries
- Permanent shoulder injuries
- Brain injuries
- Nerve and spinal damage
- Sciatic nerve injury
Most Common Medical Devices Known to Be Defective
The Food and Drug Administration or FDA is the agency responsible for testing medical devices, equipment, and prescription drugs. This agency is also responsible for approving safe and tested devices and drugs. Unfortunately, fast-track approval programs have led to numerous medical devices being released into the market without thorough safety testing. As a result, there is an increasing number of individuals being injured by these products.
A product is defective if it is unable to perform what it was designed to do. There are recognized types of defects, such as design and manufacturing defects as well as insufficient warning labels. Here are a few of the common devices known to be defective:
Hip Implant: This device is used to replace injured hip sockets. This device has three components which should allow for normal movement of the hip:
- A femoral stem which is placed inside the thigh bone
- Femoral head which is attached to the femoral stem
- The femoral head is fixed inside the hip socket known as the acetebulum
Unfortunately, some patients have reported defects and failure in the first two years after insertion; thus, this device was recalled. The symptoms of hip failure are as follows:
- The device is dislocated or dislodged, making it completely useless
- Pieces of toxic metal are flushed into the patient’s bloodstream, leading to fatal tissue reaction.
- Bone breakage surrounding the implant
Breast Implants: One of the most popular surgeries is breast implants. Unfortunately, a lot of women fail to consider the risks of breast implant failure. Defective breast implants may burst, tear, or leak, which leads to serious- and sometimes fatal, medical consequences.
The injuries resulting from this kind of defect can differ from one patient to another. Some victims have suffered from mild symptoms to breast cancer. The most common complications that might arise from defective breast implant are as follows:
- Hair Loss
- Breast Pain
- High Fever
- Muscle pain and discomfort
- Lumbar pain
- Upper back pain
- Collection of fluids
- Hardening of the breast tissue
- Lumps in the breast
IVC Filter Implants: This medical device is used to prevent fatal medical complications. Unfortunately, defective IVC filters can lead to life-threatening complications and death. The common problems associated with defective filters include:
- IVC filter tilting
- Internal bleeding and hemorrhaging
- Fracture of the implant
- Movement of the implant in the body
- Lacerations of the atrium which can lead to heart attacks
- Lacerations of vital internal organs, such as the heart and lungs
- Cause lesions on the small intestine and stomach resulting to heavy diarrhea and bloody stools
What Should You Do If Your Medical Device Is Defective?
If you have suffered from injuries or illness due to a defective implant, you need to consider the following steps:
- Talk to a medical professional as soon as you experience the initial symptoms. Do not ignore the symptoms because it might result to more serious health complications.
- The doctor or surgeon can diagnose and treat your injuries. They can also inform you of the extent of your injuries.
- Seek a lawyer who specializes in cases associated with defective medical devices. They can examine your case and help you proceed with the injury claim.
- Do not tamper with the medical device. It is possible to claim compensation for the injuries you have suffered; thus, the medical device will serve as evidence.
- It is advisable to seek an expert to inspect the device. The expert can determine the cause of the injury and whether it is a minor or serious product defect.
- Do not release any statement to your insurance company. Before talking to them, you must first seek the counsel of your personal injury lawyer.
Kris Lim is a writer for health and wellness websites. She also occasionally writes for law firms, such as FanninLaw.com.