For certain damaging and potentially life threatening medical problems today, your medical provider may be able to implant a medical device that can add years to your life. These devices work by delivering much needed medicine, or by supporting and regulating non-functioning organs and tissues, or even replacing non-working parts in the body. Implanted medical devices, such a joint replacements, pacemakers, and heart defibrillators can not only increase your lifespan, but they can often increase your quality of life too. Unfortunately, as more of these devices are implanted into patients and these procedures become more common, the incidence of injuries due to defective medical devices has also become more common. Here’s what you need to know about defective medical devices, and how you can get help if you’ve been injured as the result of one of these devices.
Defective Medical Devices
Implanted medical devices are often in the form of prosthetics placed inside the body to support proper organ functioning. Medical implants and devices may be constructed from bone, skin, or tissue, or may be artificially constructed by metal, plastic, ceramic, and other man made materials. These devices may be implanted temporarily, such as with a chemotherapy port to deliver cancer fighting drugs, or permanently, as with a pacemaker or knee implant.
While there are a number of medical devices meant to help treat various medical conditions, there are several that have increasingly been the subject of controversy due to dangerous defects within the medical devices themselves. These include:
- Surgical mesh, commonly used for hernias;
- Metal on metal hip and knee replacements; and
- Cardiovascular devices, such as stents and heart defibrillators.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration monitors medical devices, and issues recalls for devices that are found to be improperly working or defective. Recalled medical devices may require a number of different corrections, ranging from needing to adjust the settings on a particular device to a complete recall in which the device needs to be removed.
Legal Help for Injuries Caused By Defective Medical Devices
Injuries caused by defective medical devices can range from mild to severe and life threatening. Infections, irregular heartbeat, and side effects due to improper dosing of medication all can leave the sufferer in worse condition than before the medical device was implanted.
Under Florida law, legal recourse is available for those who have been injured due to defective or improperly functioning medical devices. For example, under Florida State Statutes, Section 768.81(d), manufacturers and distributors of defective devices may be held accountable under product liability law. Product liability lawsuits may arise out of the following issues:
- Devices with manufacturing defects regarding how the device is made or used.
- Faulty construction of the medical device.
- Inaccurate product marketing or instructions for use.
- Failure to warn consumers of risks associated with the device.
If found liable, manufacturers or distributors of defective medical devices may be responsible for compensating those injured for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Contact An Experienced Florida Malpractice Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective or improperly functioning medical device, contact our experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney. At Hogan Frick Law, with offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.