Many people rely on medical devices to help them effectively live with and recover from a variety of health problems and medical conditions. While these devices can save lives and make dealing with major health problems more manageable, there is growing concern about the way these products and their manufacturers are being monitored. Problems associated with defective medical devices have become unfortunately common, and increasing numbers of people are being seriously harmed by potentially dangerous devices each year. The latest controversy over potentially deadly infections caused by medical scopes has raised awareness of the problems with the current monitoring system, and provokes calls for an overhaul of the way both national authorities and patients are informed of potential dangers.
Medical Scope Infections
According to a 2015 news report in the Palm Beach Post, tainted medical scopes have resulted in over 23 deaths in Florida, and have been linked with more than 250 deaths across the country. The scopes are used to help patients with gallbladder, pancreas, and liver problems, and are used in approximately 500,000 procedures each year in the United States. The problem stems from a design flaw in the scope, a crevice that allows dangerous bacteria and germs to accumulate, eventually infecting the patient. The devices remained in use long after the defect was detected and patient injuries were reported due to the Food and Drug Administration’s reluctance to pull them from the market. Scientists with the FDA felt the benefits of the scopes outweighed the risk, and allowed the product to remain in use while the manufacturers redesigned the product. Unfortunately, their efforts failed, and while the FDA acknowledges that changes were made to correct the flaws in the scopes, these efforts may have only made the products worse.
Monitoring Dangerous Medical Devices
Outrage over the way the FDA handled problems with the scopes has resulted in calls for a complete overhaul of the system through which the agency handles defective medical devices. According to a February 2016 CNN report, lawmakers claim that the FDA is relying too heavily on manufacturers’ reports of problems with their own devices, rather than providing more impartial outside monitoring to protect consumers. In relation to the tainted medical scopes, Senate hearings faulted the FDA for taking more than a year to issue its own reports about the dangers the devices posed, and states that the agency as well as the manufacturers of the device and hospitals that used it share the blame for allowing patient infections, injuries, and deaths to occur. While consumers can access the FDA medical device recall list to view medical devices that have been recalled, many medical device manufacturers, such as the manufacturer of the medical scopes in question, never willingly submit to the recall process.
Contact An Experienced Florida Malpractice Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective or dangerous medical device, contact our experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we can advise you on how to hold manufacturers responsible for the injuries you suffered, and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. With offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we are happy to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.