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Arlington Heights defective medical device attorneysMedical technology is constantly improving, and new devices and techniques are regularly made available to help address patients’ conditions and improve their health. Unfortunately, there are many cases where new products are found to be unsafe after being made available for public use, and defective medical devices can cause serious injuries to patients. Those who have been injured by these devices will want to work with a personal injury attorney who can help them determine their options for pursuing compensation from a product’s manufacturer or others who were responsible for their damages.

Medical Device Recalls and Patient Injuries

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regularly reviews and investigates the medical devices that are used by doctors and hospitals throughout the United States. If the FDA uncovers problems with medical devices that may present a danger to patients, a device’s manufacturer may be required to perform a recall, which may include removing devices from the market or performing repairs to address issues that affect patient safety. Some medical devices that have been subject to recalls in recent years include:

  • Hip replacements - Artificial hip joints may be made of metal and other materials, but those that have metal-on-metal components have a high failure rate. Corrosion and wearing of these components can release toxic substances into a patient’s body, leading to infections, damage to muscles, nerves, and bones, and other complications.
  • Transvaginal mesh - These implants have been used to address issues such as incontinence or injuries to pelvic organs. In some cases, mesh implants can deteriorate and break down, leading to sharp fragments that can perforate tissues and organs, resulting in internal bleeding and infections.
  • IVC blood filters - Small metal filters may be inserted into major blood vessels to prevent blood clots from traveling to the lungs, brain, or heart. These filters may break apart, and metal pieces may travel through the bloodstream and perforate organs, leading to hemorrhaging and organ damage.
  • Surgical warming blankets - During surgery, blankets that are heated by warm air may be used to stabilize a patient’s temperature. However, the circulation of air through these blankets may allow for the spread of germs, leading to serious infections.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Product Liability Lawyers

While medical devices are meant to improve patients’ health, they can cause long-lasting or permanent injuries if they do not function properly. The attorneys of Newland & Newland, LLP can help you determine your options if you were injured by a defective medical device, and we will fight to ensure that you are fully compensated for the damages you have suffered. Contact our Palatine defective product attorneys at 847-797-8000 to set up a free consultation today.

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It has been several years since Michigan-based medical device manufacturer Stryker issued a voluntary recall of their Rejuvenate and ABH II modular-neck stem metal hip replacements, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recall was made after many patients complained that the hip replacement was defective, causing them more pain and suffering than before the implant was surgically inserted. The main issue with the device is that it was found to be subject to a high rate of corrosion at the neck junction.

In November of last year, an agreement was reached in New Jersey that determined that the manufacturer would pay an average of $300,000 per implant in individual lawsuits brought against it. In some cases, depending if the patient is deceased, the payout may be less. In other cases, in which the pain and suffering is determined to be extreme, the payout may be more. The company, in total, would payout $1.4 billion in settlement claims, though the claim must be filed by an individual patient, even in this mass tort case.

If you have experienced pain or suffering because of a Stryker hip implant, the first step is to seek legal counsel. The next is to enroll in the Settlement Program. Enrollment opened on January 16 of this year, and is open until March 2. If you do not enroll in the Settlement Program before March 2, you will not be eligible to receive compensation. The fact that you enrolled in the claims process, however, does not guarantee that you will receive payment either. If you did not register for the settlement by December of last year, it is possible that you are not eligible to enroll. If this is the case for you, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney right away.

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Having a hip replaced is one of the most risky and complicated surgeries a person can undergo. It is also one of the most common bone replacements that are undergone in the United States. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), there are several reasons why a person would undergo a hip replacement surgery.

Goals of such surgery include:

  • Increasing of mobility in patients who feel as if their mobility has been limited by a diseased hip;
  • Improving the range of movement or function of the hip joint; and
  • Reducing pain in patients who suffer from a diseased hip.

The NIAMS reports approximately 332,000 total hip replacements are performed annually in the U.S. However, doctors will most likely not consider a hip replacement unless the patient has tried other less-invasive methods of rehabilitation. These methods can include exercise, walking aids and medication. NIAMS notes, “Walking aids such as canes and walkers may alleviate some of the stress from painful, damaged hips and help you to avoid or delay surgery.”

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While all of the different artificial hip implants on the market carry some form of wear risk, those that are made with metal-on-metal are some of the most dangerous out there. This is because of their unique structure, and these additional concerns can create problems and pains for patients who have had them installed.

In these hip implants, the metal cup and metal ball slide against one another while the patient is walking or running. As a result, small metal particles can be released into the body of the wearer. Corrosion at this connection is also cause for concern, because the small metal particles that have been corroded may release these materials into the bloodstream. Sadly, too many metal hip implant patients learn this too late. The FDA notes that there is actually no way to prevent some metal particles from being produced as a wearer uses their device.

There are reports in orthopedic literature and from international agencies about the dangers of these hip implants, and yet doctors still continue to use them for patients in need of hip replacement. Many patients who have received metal-on-metal hip implants have experienced some problem afterwards, and some of those cases required revision surgery. Between noticing the problem and getting the surgery, some patients continued to suffer.

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According to Science Daily, “hundreds of thousands of hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States each year.” While these procedures are generally very effective at reducing pain and restoring mobility, there is a high rate of failure of these devices. There is such a high rate of failure, in fact, that Dr. Geoffrey Westrich told Science Daily that he's “seen a sharp increase in the number of people coming in for a second hip or knee replacement, called a revision surgery.” These devices are prone to failure so often that people seeking revision surgery is nothing out of the ordinary. Considering the amount of pain and suffering and general immobility that generally accompanies a replacement surgery like this, the high rate of revision surgery is alarming.

According to Dr. Westrich there are several things a patient who has undergone a hip or knee replacement should look for to ensure that he or she does not need a revision surgery. These include, but are not limited to:

  • A loosening of the implant;
  • A fracture;
  • Dislocation;
  • Infection;
  • Implant recall.

“Patients should be aware of warning signs that there may be a problem, such as pain that comes on suddenly or trouble getting around,” Dr. Westrich told Science Daily. Revision surgeries have the potential to be much more complicated than initial operations, and should not be taken lightly.

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