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Medical Device Variations
In the event of life-threatening illnesses and injuries, physicians sometimes employ medical devices in order to provide the patient with a long-term solution to their health problems. Many of these devices are implanted directly into the body of the patient while others can be accessed externally. Medical devices are used for a wide variety of diseases and injuries – some of the most popular devices include:
- Stents – Tubes that are inserted into arteries are known as stents. These tubes are often coated with various medications and they assist the patient by preventing blockages in the circulatory system. Stents are often employed by both trauma surgeons and medical specialists.
- Defibrillators – One of the most well-known medical devices, defibrillators produce small electric shocks that regulate the heart’s rhythm. Defibrillators are implanted directly into a patient’s heart as a solution to serious heart conditions.
- Contraceptive Devices – There are many contraceptive devices on the market, but intrauterine devices are one of the most common. They prevent pregnancy and are usually inserted directly into the patient by a medical professional.
- Implants – This is a synthetic device that attempts to restore normal functioning to the body. There are many different types of implants and they are often used to replace body parts such as hips, shoulders or legs.
There are many different types of medical devices, some more complex than others, but they are all used to make life easier for patients. These devices are implanted by physicians all over the country.
Injury Due to Defective Medical Devices
The majority of medical devices greatly enhance the quality of life for many patients, but they can also cause serious harm if they are improperly manufactured or designed. In many cases, an appropriate amount of testing may not have been performed on the device in order to determine whether or not it was safe to use.
Danger can also stem from a manufacturer overestimating the functionality or safety of the device itself, or failing to properly convey the risks of the device to physicians. In 2011, a study performed by the British organization, the National Joint Registry, found that 11.4 percent of the 68,907 hip replacement surgeries were done to replace a hip implant.
Another prominent medical device that has recently come under fire is transvaginal mesh. The mesh was originally implanted to provide women with relief from urinary incontinence and pelvic issues. In January of 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a release stating that it is now requiring manufacturers to undergo a more rigorous process to prove that their product is safe to use. The FDA stated that it recognized the harm that the mesh poses to women and that it has now reclassified mesh as a high-risk device, or class III.
Defective Medical Device Lawsuits
In recent years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of medical devices for physical pain and suffering allegedly caused to patients. In 2015, C.R. Bard settled claims over its vaginal mesh for $200 million. The company also settled a personal injury lawsuit filed over one of its inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. The victim in that case claimed that he had to have open heart surgery to remove a piece of the device, which had made it into his heart. The device had been installed to protect him against blood clots. In 2015, 32 commonly-employed medical devices were recalled by the FDA. These devices included ventilators, an insulin management system, catheters, humidifiers, and guide wire.
A New Jersey defective medical device attorney can assist patients who suffered complications due to a defective medical device.
How a New Jersey Defective Medical Device Attorney Can Help
Device makers have a duty to design and produce safe products, and to warn of possible risks associated with their products. Failure to fulfill that duty can result in injuries to patients, and the device maker being held liable for those injuries.
Patients who are injured by defective medical devices may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from injuries. Compensation can be based on factors including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a loved one dies after complications from a defective medical device, family members may be able to pursue claims for wrongful death damages, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Affected patients and their families are encouraged to seek the advice of a New Jersey defective medical device attorney to discuss their legal rights and options for compensation.
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