Medical advancements have helped people live longer, healthier lives. Among these advancements are implantable medical devices like insulin pumps, pacemakers, and artificial joints. While most medical devices are safe and effective, sometimes there are unexpected problems with medical devices that put patients at risk of injury or even death. Defective medical devices can be extremely dangerous so it is important for anyone who uses a medical device to be aware of product recalls involving medical devices.
Defective and Dangerous Medical Devices
Whether it is a metal rod used to keep bones in place after a break, a pump that delivers medication, or another type of medical device, it can be unnerving to have a foreign object implanted in your body. Sometimes, this hesitation is warranted. People who suffer complications after a medical device is implanted may not initially realize that the device is the cause of their problem. However, they soon realize that something is terribly wrong.
Medical devices with known defects are recalled by the FDA, but sometimes the recall comes too late to avoid medical complications. Some of the top medical device recalls of the past few years include:
- Abbott’s cardiac pacemakers – Pacemakers are implanted in the chest and used to regulate a person’s heartbeat. In 2017, the FDA recalled nearly half a million units due to security concerns. There was evidence to suggest that the devices may be “hacked” by outside forces and used to alter the patient’s heart rate.
- Dexcom’s glucose monitoring system – These glucose monitors are placed under the patient’s skin and monitor blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, these monitors do not always work as intended. Sometimes, the alarm that is supposed to notify the patient of dangerously high or low glucose levels fails to activate.
- Hip replacement recalls – Multiple brands of artificial hips have been recalled in the past ten years due to design flaws, missing components, and other defects. Many patients who received defective hip replacements have brought successful lawsuits and recovered financial compensation for their damages.
- Medtronic MiniMed insulin pumps – Individuals with Type I diabetes use these pumps to receive life-saving insulin but many pumps have defects that cause them to deliver too much or too little insulin to the user. These insulin pumps are alleged to have caused over 2,000 injuries and one death.
- Transvaginal Mesh – These devices are used to repair pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. The FDA issued a safety warning about the serious complications resulting from these devices after lawsuits alleging excessive bleeding, infection, and organ perforation were reported.
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