Houston Dangerous Medical Device Lawyer
The medical devices your doctor gives you are supposed to improve your health, not create further damage. Unfortunately, it is an all too familiar occurrence to hear of defective medical devices causing life-changing injuries. If you have a medical device that has caused you harm, you may be eligible for a liability lawsuit. Some of the following devices have been known to cause issues:
- Metal Hip Replacements. Thousands of patients who received metal hip replacements have suffered further injury due to implant failures, cobalt toxicity, and metal poisoning. DePuy Hip replacements, a popular brand used in hip replacement surgery, has had several recalls.
- Drug coated stents (tubes inserted into arteries or blood vessels) have caused poisoning in some patients.
- Guidant defibrillators (or pacemakers) had a major recall in 2005.
- Mirena IUDs. Mirena IUDs have caused some women to suffer pierced uterine walls, ectopic pregnancies, infections, and device migrations.
- Transvaginal Mesh. A surgical patch used to correct pelvic organ prolapse, Transvaginal mesh has caused injuries to organs and mesh erosion.
- DaVinci Surgical Robots. These robots are used for surgery in otherwise hard to reach areas. Some robots have malfunctioned, causing pierced organs, infections, and burns.
Why Are Defective Medical Devices So Prevalent?
According to Consumer Reports, many medical devices do not undergo thorough testing. Unlike pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of medical devices often are only required to file paperwork and pay a fee to the Federal Drug Administration. Though standards for these devices exist, the FDA is not extensive in the enforcement of their applications.
In addition to undergoing only minimal testing, medical research has found that most devices don’t even have a serial code – yet household appliances like coffeemakers and toasters do. This makes it extremely hard for doctors and researchers to track problems with particular devices.
In 2007, a Floresville, Texas woman began suffering symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. Janet Holt went to her doctor who told her he would surgically implant a transvaginal mesh to correct the problem. Months later, Holt was feeling more intense pain than she had before the surgery and was unable to sit, stand or walk. Gradually, the mesh shifted and rejected itself, a pain which Holt equates to feeling “open cigarette burns with each step you take”.
After eight surgeries to remove the mesh, Holt was left with nerve damage in one leg, and is suing the manufacturer. A 2011 petition to the FDA to take the transvaginal mesh off the market resulted in the FDA finally acknowledging the damage. In 2012, after 10 years of being on the market, the transvaginal mesh device was studied and re-classed as a high risk class III device.
Devices can also cause issues that slip under the radar. In 2006, Stephen Tower, MD, underwent a DuPuy hip replacement surgery. Though the surgery was successful at first, Tower began noticing excruciating pain and worrisome symptoms within a year. He was in constant pain and was suffering symptoms including disturbed sleep, visual problems, mood swings, and hearing loss.
After multiple unanswered questions to DePuy engineers, surgeons, and sales reps, Tower began to do his own research. He found that metal debris from the implants was causing his chromium and cobalt levels to raise which indicate toxicity. He had the implant removed in 2009, just before DePuy recalled 93,000 devices.
Cases like these need to be addressed if the FDA is ever going to tighten regulations. If you have experienced any problems after a surgical implant of a medical advice, it is imperative that your voice is heard. An attorney who specializes in defective medical devices may be able to get you compensation for the difficulties this device has caused.