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Injuries Caused by Defective Medical Devices

Posted on June 20, 2016

Medical devices can be useful for improving and saving lives. There are times when medical devices or the misuse of medical devices can result in injuries or deaths. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a patient can help you recover losses from defective medical devices.

Types of Defective Medical Devices

There are many types of medical devices with injurious defects. Some of these are cochlear ear implants, breast implants, eye implants, transvaginal meshes, pacemakers, blood clot filters or stents, and artificial joints such as hip replacements and knee implants.Of these devices, metal-on-metal hip replacements have high rates of failure. These have early failure rates that are two to three times higher than hip replacements made from other materials. Complications that may arise with metal-to-metal hip replacements are bone fractures and dislocations if the joint slips from alignment. This can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, and inability to walk. Revision surgeries, surgeries that occur to correct problems, are frequent. Another complication of metal-to-metal hip replacements is metal parts rubbing together in the natural course of walking. These can release tiny metal fragments into the blood and surrounding tissues, damaging the tissues around the joint, and causing implant pain and loosening.

Other medical devices can cause painful or life-threatening injuries. Defective medical devices such as meshes used to treat hernia and pelvic organ prolapse have had recall warnings for causing injuries.

Liability for Injuries Caused by Defective Medical Devices

Liability is two-fold with defective medical devices. Product liability and medical malpractice are two different issues with medical devices. Design defects and manufacturing defects are two liability problems. Design defects are devices not fully vetted for manufacturing before being sold. A manufacturing defect is when device designs are good, but failure occurs somewhere in the manufacturing. Both are manufacturer liabilities.

Another manufacturer liability is failure to give proper instructions about device use. Manufacturers should have clear warning labels and device instructions. They should not breach express warranties where products do not conform to manufacturer or seller advertisements, package labeling, or written materials packaged with products.

Manufacturers are not always at fault in defective medical injury cases. Surgeons, other healthcare providers, and hospitals are sometimes at fault for injuries because of improper use of medical devices or in failing to instruct patients on proper device use or care. The lawyers at Farah & Farah are ready to help you if you or a loved one has suffered from defective medical device injuries.

Please contact Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555.