Due to recent advances in science and technology, the field of medical device design and manufacturing is booming. These devices are now saving lives at a faster rate than ever before, and the industry only seems poised to continue growing. Yet there are still many people who are injured or even die as a result of medical devices each year. Whether it is due to faulty design, negligence during the manufacturing process or contamination by germs and bacteria at hospitals and doctors’ offices, there are a large number of medical device injuries every single year in the United States.
In some cases, the defective medical device worsens the overall condition of the patient it is designed to treat, and additional medical attention, surgeries (called revision surgery) and expenses are required to fix the issues caused by the medical device problems. Millions of people are implanted with various medical devices each year, including hip replacements, brain stints and even ear tubes, and these patients fully and firmly believe that their implanted medical devices will help them to live a healthier, stronger and happier life. Manufacturers must undergo very extensive testing of their products by the FDA to ensure they are safe for use prior to being sold on the market. It is often the case, however, that some defects get overlooked, and it is ultimately the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure the public’s safety when releasing a new product. Once a product has been shown to be faulty and cause injury, it is the manufacturer’s job to alert not only the FDA, but also the public about the nature of the concern and flaw, as well as risks associated with using the product. If companies do not alert the FDA within a timely manner, then they are liable for any associated injuries, illnesses or even deaths that occur as a result of their negligence. When you learn of a medical device recall for a product that you or a loved one has used or is currently using, then you may be tempted to ignore it if your product seems to be working just fine. This is extremely risky, however, as many of the problems associated with defective devices only show Pilot Study signs and symptoms after extended use over time.
If the device has been implanted into the patient, then it will likely require additional surgery to remove and perhaps even more surgeries to correct any damage the faulty device has already inflicted. This will require extra time, pain and associated medical expenses for the patient.