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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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HeartStart MRx Defibrillator Recalled for Defective Part

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recall for the Philips HeartStart MRx defibrillator because it contains a faulty part that can put patients at risk of serious injury and death.

The defective medical device was recalled after it was determined that a glass tube inside the defibrillator has tiny cracks that allow gases to escape and cause the device to malfunction. These cracks also allow electrical surges to cross the defibrillator's resistors, potentially damaging them and causing the device to fail while it is in automated external defibrillator (AED) mode. When the device fails in this mode, it can still be operated manually. Healthcare providers who have the defibrillator are urged to have the defective glass tube repaired to prevent patient injuries and deaths. In their uncorrected state, these defibrillators can fail at any time.

When a patient is injured by a defective medical device, he or she may seek compensation for his or her damages through a defective medical device claim. When a victim dies from a defective medical device, his or her loved ones may seek compensation for damages through a wrongful death claim.

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The benefits and risks of mammography screening have long been debated in the scientific community. According to the National Cancer Institute, while screening may be effective in reducing the number of deaths from breast cancer through early detection of a cancerous tumor, it can, at the same time, cause harm to the woman who is participating. The most common limitations of breast cancer screening can include false-positives, overdiagnosis, false-negatives, discomfort, radiation risk, and anxiety.

Yet a new medical device approved in February by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, may alleviate some of the risks posed by mammograms, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). The device, which passed the FDA's most stringent premarket approval process, was developed by a URMC startup company, Koning.

The Koning Breast CT system is intended to diagnose cancer in women who have signs or symptoms of the disease, and those who have abnormal findings after a standard mammogram. As of right now, it is not intended to replace annual screenings, yet the use of the new device may help to alleviate the risks of overdiagnosis or false-positives. Because it is also the first breast imaging device that allows for a readable picture without compression of the breast tissue, the Koning Breast CT system is also a more comfortable procedure for patients undergoing treatment.

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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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In mid-January the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a first-of-its-kind device to treat obesity, according to a FDA press release. The device, known as the Maestro Rechargeable System, realigns nerve pathways between the brain and the stomach. It's the first FDA-approved device to fight obesity since 2007, and is approved for patients who have a body mass index of 35 to 45, with at least one other obesity-related condition. One such condition would be Type 2 diabetes. The system consists of a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, leads, and electrodes that are implanted surgically into the abdomen. Safety trials consisted of 233 patients, in which 157 received the device and 76 in a control group who did not. Though there were some adverse effects observed, the FDA sponsored a survey that found that patients with severe obesity would be willing to accept the dangers for the weight loss it promised.

There are several devices to help fight obesity that have been on the market for years, including those that tie off the passageways to the stomach. Some of these devices require that the patient eat very slowly, or that he takes very small bites. Many of these devices came under fire by the FDA for safety concerns. One well-publicized event was the discontinuation of the manufacture of one of these devices for teenagers after two percent of patients who were using them experienced severe side effects. According to the National Institutes of Health, a significant number of patients surveyed in a trial of obesity-reducing devices experienced negative side effects.

Only time will tell if the recently approved device will have a similarly bad track record. If you or someone you know has experienced negative side effects or long-term health problems because of an obesity device, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago defective medical device attorney today.

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