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Consumers are likely familiar with warranties offered any time a purchase is made for a new appliance or electronic. But what about surgeries for replacement body parts? Although one million individuals receive hip or knee implants every year, only one manufacturer offers a warranty, and this warranty is only on a partial knee implant.

Lisa McGiffert, director at Consumer Union's Safe Patient Project, believes that manufacturers should provide patients with a 20-year warranty on all implants. This warranty would entitle patients with defective hip and knee implants to obtain total replacements at no cost. McGiffert says that higher numbers of younger people are getting these implants and those getting implants in the older population do so to maintain an active lifestyle, thus highlighting the importance of product safety and longevity.

Consumers Union has data showing that nearly 20 percent of hip replacements and almost 10 percent of knee replacements require additional surgeries to correct defects. The additional surgeries wind up costing patients and insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars. McGiffert believes that this increased cost should not fall on anyone else's head but the companies who make faulty replacements.


More research has come out recently that links testosterone therapy to heart conditions. A study published in early January of this year found that men taking testosterone drugs faced a higher risk of heart attack for men over the age of 65. Men younger than 65 but with a history of heart problems also had higher risks for heart attacks, according to the study tracking 56,000 men. Serious medical complications from treatment or medical devices can cause an array of complications or injuries.

The study looked at men between 2008 and 2010, finding that the heart attack risk for men doubled when participating in testosterone therapy. Previous studies had only looked at older men using a high dosage of testosterone gel, although a November 2013 Veterans Affairs study also identified a 30 percent increase in heart attacks, death, and strokes for more than 1200 men taking the testosterone drug.

As a result of these studies, some researchers are urging that the FDA put new warning labels on the products so that more patients are aware of the increased risks. Presently, there are no explicit warnings of the increased heart attack risk for those using testosterone replacement therapy. Given that several studies have indicated a link with heart attacks and other conditions, it's likely a matter of time before the FDA requires some form of labeling regarding the issue. For some patients, though, this might be done too late, since testosterone therapy is still being given to men across the United States.


Around the world, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (often called SSRIs) are some of the most commonly prescribed depression medications. In the United States, one of the most popular SSRIs given to patients with depression is Zoloft, which has been linked to dangerous birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. A new study from the British Medical Journal is the latest authority to lend credence to the risks posed by antidepressants.

The researchers, who reviewed a series of seven studies, found that the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn was different based on the period of the pregnancy in which the mother took the medication. When SSRIs like Zoloft were taken in the later stages of a pregnancy, mothers faced an increased risk that their children would be affected by PPHN.

Although researchers noted that the risk was comparatively low, PPHN is a serious condition that no parent wants to face. In this condition, the baby's lungs are unable to properly exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. As a result, a newborn could have very low blood oxygen levels, possibly causing damage to organs.


Doctors doing surgery at a hospital in Maine made a discovery regarding the Cordis Opt-ease Vena Cava Filter that have led to investigation and defective device recalls for the item.

The filter is supposed to catch clotted blood traveling through the Vena Cava to hold it there so that the clot doesn't travel farther into the heart or lungs. Doctors struggled to remove the filter from a patient who no longer required it, finding that the instructions for insertion and removal were not accurate.

The filter can also be dislodged in the body, which can be identified using x-rays. Surgery will be needed to reposition or replace the filer if this condition occurs. The filter is not designed for long—term use, since it's supposed to be removed after the patient no longer needs it. Difficulty removing the filter can lead to other complications for the patient involved. Recurrent pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition.


Although medical device manufacturers are supposed to vet their creations extensively before putting them on the market, some products get in the hands of caregivers or patients when there are dangerous consequences or bugs that haven't been addressed.

If you have been injured by a defective medical device, you could suffer pain, complications, and possibly even have to undergo treatment for whatever problems the device caused. After getting medical treatment for the issue, you need to consult with a defective medical device attorney about your case to ensure that you receive any compensation you deserve, and that the device will not continue to cause issues for other people.

There's another step you should take if you are concerned about the product issues affecting other patients. When device manufacturers or government regulators are not aware of an existing problem, there is more of a chance that other patients could be hurt by the device. That's why the Food and Drug Administration maintains a reporting program for these dangerous products.

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