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Defective Medical Product Lawsuits: What You Need to Know
If you or a loved one has undergone serious surgery, only to experience issues due to a defective medical device, the results can be life-altering and incredibly challenging. In 2018, more than 415 million defective medical device units were recalled in the United States alone. This means that defective medical products are far more common than one might think. In addition, a 2016 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medical showed that medical errors have risen to become the third leading cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately, medical device malfunctions are one of the most dangerous types of medical errors that a patient can experience.
Patients often receive medical devices after serious injuries or illnesses, such as an automobile wreck, a slip and fall incident, or a heart attack. When receiving medical attention following these events, you might think that your problems will be over after you receive a surgery or an implant, such as a hip replacement or an arterial stent. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Defective medical equipment and mistakes can lead to an array of different problems that might not become clear in the days following the incident.
What are the Major Types of Medical Device Malfunctions?
Most types of defective medical device issues fall into one of three categories:
- A design defect: This happens when the device is manufactured as intended, but is deemed unsafe.
- A manufacturing defect: This can happen when the device being made is changed from the design. Therefore making the device not perform as intended, and result in an injury. Most cases fall into this category.
- A marketing defect: This refers to a problem with advertising or instructions. An example could be failure to warn patients about parts of the device. This becomes a problem when a provider is unable to disclose all potential problems, not allowing the patient to make an informed decision.
Well-Known Examples of Defective Medical Devices
Below, we’ll review some of the most common types of defective medical devices that have been used in the recent past. These include:
- Physiomesh: Known as one of three types of surgical mesh used in the repair of debilitating hernias. Designed to prevent adhesions to the abdominal wall during surgery, the physiomesh can crimp, crease, and crack through time. This leads to the polymer coat degrading in the months after a surgery, then growing into the intestines at a dangerous rate. As a result, a patient might suffer bowel obstruction, minor to major pains in the abdominal region, fluid buildup, and many other complications. During preclinical and animal studies, Physiomesh raised red flags due to observed mesh shrinkage and migration. Physiomesh studies also raised concerns due to adhesions, chronic body reactions, and inflammation. Unfortunately, no full clinical trials were performed on Physiomesh prior to release.
- Allergan Implants: If you’ve received implants in your breasts or another part of your body, the surgeons conducting the operation are required to hold themselves to the standard required for that field. A voluntary recall was issued in 2019 by Allergan, manufacturers of a popular line of breast implants, due to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) linking these products to a type of cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. You have the right to demand compensation if you find yourself a victim of defective implants, such as those manufactured by Allergan. Even though cancer occurs in the most extreme situations, implants still hold the danger of rupturing and causing a number of different problems. These can range from sensitivity to deformation of the subject body part. If you find yourself struggling with any of these, Clark+Mitchell is well versed in product liability and will make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
- Metal On Metal Hip Replacements: Metal sockets and joints can shed metal particles into the body, leading to a very serious condition called metallosis. Metallosis can lead to infection, neurological and psychological changes, and, in the most severe cases, soft tissue death (necrosis). Metallosis generally manifests within nine months of surgery. Unfortunately, metallosis often leads to device failure, which almost always requires a revision surgery. As a consequence, recalls have been issued on many metal-on-metal hip implants
- Combat Arms Earplugs: The U.S. government issued American soldiers 3M-manufactured Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), to provide essential protection. Unfortunately, hearing loss affected numerous service members who trained at Fort Bragg and other military bases throughout the country. In many cases, this was the result of the faulty 3M earplugs, as they did not provide the advertised protection. Legally, all medical device manufacturers are required to ensure that their products function as intended. If you suffer from hearing loss related to your time in the military and used CAEv2 earplugs between 2003 and 2015, you may have the right to collect damages.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Has Suffered From a Faulty Medical Device
If you or someone you love has been impacted by a defective medical device, contact the expert attorneys at Clark & Mitchell. No law firm in Oklahoma City has won more cases regarding product liability and medical malpractice than Clark+Mitchell.
Throughout his years of continued service in the field, Steven E. Clark has tried hundreds of medical malpractice and product liability cases in Oklahoma City. His partner, Heather J. Mitchell, is a licensed registered nurse (R.N.) and has an extensive history helping patients fight for their legal rights. Mr. Clark and Ms. Mitchell combine their efforts not only to guide you through the legal process but ensure that you never feel alone. Clark and Mitchell takes pride in the fact that it’s a smaller firm, as this grants the team the opportunity to handle each case personally and professionally.
It can be easy to fall victim to circumstances and not know how to defend yourself, but our attorney’s work with clients facts to determine whether or not to proceed with a case against the medical device malpractice that has negatively impacted your life. At Clark & Mitchell, we won’t hand you off to another firm. Instead, we’ll do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today to learn more.