Doctors stated that veteran Eddie Creed’s death last year was the result of throat cancer, but some journalistic investigations have revealed that there may be more to the story regarding a defective medical device. Creed had been using a medical device called Infusomat, a device which had actually been recalled a month before he started using it.
The Seattle Veterans Hospital had been paid a visit by the device manufacturers, who assured nurses and staff that updates were coming out soon for a faulty plastic clip. On this promise, medical staff continued to use the device even though the FDA had posted warnings about possible safety concerns.
Infusomat was listed as a Class I recall, the most dangerous classification that the Food and Drug Administration can use for labeling. This recall doesn’t make it mandatory for an immediate recall, but it serves as a notice that someone could be gravely injured or kill if the product continues to be used. Class II recalls are those that might generate a short-term health problem, and Class III recalls are for products that violate FDA laws but won’t cause immediate harm.
Infusomat was designed to send specific amounts of liquid into patient IVs. Failure to properly load the machine or using too much force could lead to an unsupervised flow of drugs.
On Creed’s second night at the hospital, the machine malfunctioned and he was given ten times the morphine prescription amount that doctors recommended. The FDA has noted a significant increase in the number of pumps like Infusomat that are reportedly having problems and compromising patient safety.
Part of the concern, according to those in the field, is that manufacturers are responsible for issuing recalls, but they have to make sure that these notices get to the right people. In a bureaucratic chain of command, a medical device recall might miss those using the products with patients.
If you have been injured as a result of a faulty medical device, contact a Chicago personal injury attorney today.