When someone is harmed by a defective medical device, they often wonder how this could have happened. This is because consumers expect that surgeons and medical institutions have the best products available to them and that those products have been thoroughly vetted before use. Though this may be the case, medical or healthcare establishments have no control over the medical device’s design and/or manufacturing. This is where the potential for injuries begins – when a manufacturer designs, creates and sells defective medical devices. Unfortunately, as the country has learned across decades of recalls, consumers cannot assume that federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are equipped to review products used in healthcare. Sadly, manufacturers of medical devices utilize roundabout ways of having their products cleared by the FDA. These shortcuts quicken the entry of the products into the marketplace for the manufacturer but often leave consumers with unforeseen consequences including severely dangerous bodily injuries and even wrongful death.
Types of Defective Medical Devices
There are many medical devices that people are required to have implanted or elect to have implanted – or placed in, on, or around their bodies – to help improve an ailment or to prevent further bodily damage or degenerative changes. Such medical devices include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and artificial heart valves or pumps.
Some of the most commonly defective medical devices include:
- Hip replacements – Some hip replacement and hip replacement parts have been subject to recalls and lawsuits because of the dangers they pose to patients. Some hip replacement products negatively impact the bones, joints, ligaments, and tissue in the body, causing the patient additional pain and even immobilizing them.
- Knee replacements – Like hip replacements, knee replacement defects have led to many lawsuits because of the damage they caused to patients. These devices can lead to severe injuries to the tissue, nerves, and other body parts around the knee. Oftentimes, further surgical procedures are needed to correct an issue and stop the patient’s pain.
- IVC filters – Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are implanted into patients to catch blood clots within the vena cava in order to prevent them from traveling upward into the heart and lungs, where they can prove fatal. Unfortunately, several types of IVC filters have been shown to be extremely dangerous, especially when left in patients for a long period of time as these devices are intended for use over a specified duration only.
- Mesh failures – Mesh is used in a wide range of surgical procedures, and it comes in many different forms. Some types of mesh, like hernia mesh and transvaginal mesh (TVM), have caused significant health issues in patients, some of which are permanent.
This list represents only a fraction of harmful medical devices that make it onto the market and go on to cause considerable harm. Other examples include the Da Vinci Surgical Robots, the Mirena intrauterine device (IUD), defective ventilators, BiPAP, and CPAP machines.
Defective Medical Device Injuries
The experienced defective medical device attorneys of Dax F. Garza, P.C. look at all serious bodily injuries or complications that were not present before a medical device was placed inside, on, or around the body when evaluating a medical device injury claim. We also thoroughly review the adverse event reports to the FDA along with the recall information. Medical or health complications due to an injury from a defective medical device can vary in severity. Whether there was a problem with a mesh implant, metal hip implant, or a type of IVC filter, common injuries can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upset stomach and other stomach issues
- Irritation in the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract
- Skin inflammation, rashes, itchiness, and other such symptoms
- Toxic and carcinogenic effects on the lungs, liver, and kidneys, including cancer as well as lung, liver, or kidney disease
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack and other heart issues)
- Respiratory arrest
- Inflammatory response
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Cancer diagnosis
- Other organ or tissue damage
- Bone damage
Patients who have suffered any of these symptoms after having a medical device implanted may be eligible for financial compensation and should seek legal assistance immediately. Product liability claims are time-sensitive. In addition, if your condition requires the removal of your device, speak to a lawyer before having it removed in order to ensure proper preservation of the device for future litigation.
How to Know if Your Device Has Been Recalled
Not all injuries that occur after a medical device is implanted trigger a device recall or even a public notification or warning. However, in large-scale defective medical device cases where a significant number of patients have been affected, it is likely the product has been recalled. If you believe any injury or bodily complication you or a loved one has experienced is due to a particular product, you can search for the product on the FDA’s website. You can sign up for an account on the website as well in order to subscribe to email notifications of any pending recalls or updates on a specific medical device.
Why File a Claim Over a Defective Medical Device?
Why should you consider looking into a lawsuit if you or someone you know has been hurt by a defective medical device? When a company sells dangerous products to consumers, that company is liable for the resulting injuries under products liability law. These cases can be complicated, and they require an experienced attorney with a successful track record who understands the law and has the resources necessary to stand up to large medical device manufacturers and other potentially liable parties like suppliers, marketers, and more.
Patients affected by a defective medical device should understand that they don’t need to have much information on hand or be prepared to spend any of their own money in order to pursue a claim for damages. An experienced defective medical device lawyer will know exactly where to start on the claim, and can handle everything on your behalf from the initial consultation to building a strong case against a manufacturer through a successful recovery – both physically (to the extent possible) and financially. With the right legal counsel, an injured person or the loved ones of someone who sadly lost their life can get the compensation they deserve from those responsible for their damages.
Houston Defective Medical Device Attorneys
Regardless of the type of defective medical device that has affected you or someone you love, product liability cases have time limitations. Our lawyers are understanding the pain, discomfort, and mental toll medical device injuries have on an individual and their loved ones, which is why we do the hard work it takes to get you the significant compensation you deserve. Contact the attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free and confidential case consultation.