About Defective Medical Devices
Patients understand that certain medical products, including pacemakers, catheters and insulin devices, can carry risks, but most people accept the dangers if the product’s benefits outweighs its risks. However, consumers should not have to accept hidden risks. The fact is that many medical devices that are meant to save or prolong lives instead injure consumers because of poor design, defects in manufacture or a failure during use. Manufacturers are bound by law to ensure their products perform as marketed. If a patient is harmed due to a product defect, the manufacturer of the product may be found liable for damages.
The results of defective medical equipment can be devastating. If a medical device does not perform its job, the patient is at the mercy of the disease being treated ? and often faces medical complications from the device itself. For example, defects in certain models of Guidant Corp. defibrillators caused a high moisture build-up in the device which caused malfunctions. These malfunctions resulted in loss of consciousness, heart failure and death. A memory error in another set of defibrillators resulted in a delay in life-saving shocks.
Sometimes the side effects of a medical device can be even worse than the disease the device helps to regulate. Patients who received drug coated heart stents from Cordis and Boston Scientific find themselves at an increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and death.