Personal Injury Lawyer Harrisonburg, VA
In today’s world of amazing advancements in technology, it is promising to know that ailments affecting us may sometimes be cured or alleviated with the use of medical devices. With new products available to them, doctors must be very cautious when recommending and using them. But what happens when a patient reacts badly? Is this an inherent risk of using such a device? Or, is there a problem with the way it was placed or an issue with the device itself?
These are questions an experienced personal injury attorney can address with you. Incidents of serious injury and death have occurred in patients who have had medical devices placed in them. Do not let you or your loved one become a statistic. You may be entitled to a settlement in your favor which can aid in the cost of your recovery or care.
Approval and Risk
Companies that design medical devices, may have the best intentions to serve patient needs and are dependent on the skilled physicians that will use them. The process to have devices approved for use rests with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The process involves submitting the device to the agency, demonstrating it is effective and safe.
But even in cases where a company has obtained this approval, what happens when the device causes catastrophic injuries in patients? There have been multiple recalls issued for defective medical devices over the past few years, including:
- A manual resuscitator valve that can get stuck preventing air flow to a patient
- Incorrect labeling on a metered dosage causing a patient to receive wrong amount of medication
- Catheters that can separate during use and cause injury
- Vascular retrieval snare loops that can separate and get stuck in other organs and block blood flow
- Knee replacements that do not accommodate for weight distribution effectively and can cause fractures which can, in turn, lead to the loss of a limb
Several examples listed fall under Class I recalls. A Class I recall is the most serious type and involves situations in which “there is a reasonable probability that use of these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”
Other harm known to be caused by defective devices reported by the FDA includes infection, brain injury, strangulation (with a physical therapy device), punctured organs, nerve damage, tissue erosion, and possible link to anaplastic large cell lymphoma (as in the case of breast implants).
Further surgery to correct the device’s serious side effects or failures is often required, putting the patient at potentially more risk.
Categories of Liability
In the event of a serious injury, where do you apportion blame?
As the examples above demonstrate, a medical device that causes serious injury to a patient could be the result of any of the following:
- A defective design feature
- An issue in the actual manufacturing process of the device
- Insufficient or incorrect labeling of a product to be dispensed
Your attorney will look to state law that relates to products liability to investigate whether a manufacturer is liable for the injuries resulting from the medical device.
If a medical practitioner was negligent in the way the procedure to insert the medical device occurred, a malpractice claim could be brought against that doctor for failing to maintain a reasonable standard of care expected in these circumstances.
If you have experienced a serious injury attributable to a medical device, you are strongly encouraged to seek immediate legal advice regarding your case to explore your potential legal rights to compensation. Having the expertise of a personal injury attorney can only improve your chances of success. Call a personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg, VA trusts at MartinWren, P.C. today to set up a complimentary consultation.