We have all heard of dangerous prescription drugs that can cause serious harm or even death. The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for reviewing the safety of pharmaceutical drugs and approving or denying them before they go on the market. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers fail to disclose serious risks or side effects of their drugs during the approval process, and millions of people can be harmed or killed by them as a result.
You may not be aware that the same is true for medical devices. The FDA has regulatory authority over devices (implantable or used on the outside of the body) designated for medical purposes. These devices go through the same approval process, which means the same problems can and do occur. When they do, the results can be disastrous.
Implanted Devices Tend to Cause The Most Serious Problems
In recent decades, several manufacturers received approval for all-metal hip implants to be used in hip-replacement procedures. They were supposed to be safer and more durable than predecessors made of other materials. Unfortunately, patients and doctors soon discovered that the metal parts could erode and flake when rubbing against one another, causing serious pain and the release of metal shards into muscle tissue.
Transvaginal mesh is another horror story. Millions of women had this mesh implanted in their abdomens to correct prolapse of their pelvic organs and prevent or cure incontinence, but the mesh can break down and embed in surrounding tissue. The result is debilitating pain and even the perforation of internal organs. To make matters even worse, the mesh is very difficult to surgically remove once it has broken down.
Devices Used in Surgical Procedures
Sometimes the devices used to perform or assist in surgeries can be dangerous. LASIK eye surgery is very popular to correct vision problems, but it is not appropriate or successful for everyone. Some patients end up suffering complications or even eye damage because of malfunctioning equipment or because they were not good candidates for the surgery in the first place.
Many patients have also been harmed by surgical robots, including the Da Vinci Surgical Robot. These machines are supposed to assist surgeons by making their jobs safer, easier and more accurate. When they malfunction, though, they can cause serious harm to patients.
If You Have Been Harmed, You Are Probably Not Alone
Defective medical devices often end up harming thousands or even millions of patients before problems are discovered. If you have suffered harm due to a bad medical device, you may be able to join other plaintiffs in a product liability lawsuit already in progress or band together with others in filing a suit.
Even if you aren’t aware of other patients who have been harmed, it is a good idea to share your story with an attorney, like a personal injury attorney from David & Philpot, P.L. He or she can help you determine if you have a strong case against the manufacturer of the device or the medical professionals who were involved in implanting or using the device.