Defective Medical Devices Trigger Dangerous Complications

Published on September 7, 2016, by Matthew Sharp

Product Liability

Defective Medical Devices Trigger Dangerous Complications

Medical devices are meant to save lives, but many patients end up with dangerous complications and debilitating injuries that last a lifetime. In Nevada, defective and unsafe devices commonly prompt Reno medical product liability claims for personal injuries.Medical devices are designed to improve certain medical conditions, but not all devices are effective and safe. While innovative technology and cutting-edge products continue to revolutionize the field of medicine, many products have defects that trigger dangerous complications and serious injuries. Defective medical devices can cause a range of complications from disabling pain to internal bleeding to cancer. The risks of such defective devices far outweigh the potential benefits for patients.

Common Defective Medical Devices

Reno medical product liability lawsuits often include common defective medical devices such as hip and knee implants, transvaginal mesh implants and IVC filters.

Hip and Knee Implants

The FDA approves the majority of new hip and knee implants, but clinical evidence reveals numerous program flaws. The approval process states that cleared devices must only be substantially equivalent to a device already on the market, so many devices are inadequately tested. Poorly designed hip and knee replacements often fail and cause bone fractures and dislocation if joints slip out of alignment. Complications include pain, swelling, and the inability to flex the knee or walk. Patients who experience these complications often require one or more corrective procedures to fix the problems. Metal-on-metal hip replacements have particularly high rates of failure. In many cases, daily use causes excessive wear to the components, allowing the release of small metal particles into a patient’s body over time. Thousands of Class I recalls have been issued for these implants.

Transvaginal Mesh Implants

Between 2005 and 2010, the FDA received approximately 4,000 reports of complications related to transvaginal mesh implants. These implants are used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence in women. In cases of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), the mesh implant, made of synthetic plastic, is inserted through the vagina. It’s purpose is to support a woman’s uterus, bladder and bowels and prevent them from falling into the vagina. In cases of urinary incontinence, the mesh implant supports the urethra to prevent involuntary urine leakage.

In 2008, the FDA issued a public health notification regarding serious complications with transvaginal mesh implants. By 2011, medical studies showed that complications from these implants occurred in 10 percent of patients who received the implants. Women reported a range of complications including recurrent infections, discomfort while performing daily activities, severe pain during intercourse, and organ perforation. By late 2015, manufacturers including Bard Medical, American Medical Solutions, and Johnson & Johnson faced more than 73,000 lawsuits filed by women who suffered complications and injuries. In Nevada, thousands of women filed claims with Reno medical product liability lawyers for various injuries.

IVC Filters

In 2010, the FDA reported approximately 1,000 injuries and/or complications linked to IVC filters. These filters are used to prevent blood clots from traveling to the lungs in patients who can’t take blood thinners. IVC filters, first approved in 1979, are small, cage-like devices made of metal. They are implanted to prevent pulmonary embolisms that result in approximately 300,000 patient deaths each year in the United States. In 2014, the FDA released a report stating that IVC filters should be removed within two months of implantation to prevent potential life-threatening complications and injuries.

There are two types of IVC filters – retrievable and permanent. Retrievable filters are meant to provide temporary protection from blood clots for several months before they are removed, while permanent filters are left in place indefinitely. Both types of filters have been linked to serious complications caused by device breakage and device migration. Reported complications include severe pain, internal bleeding, and organ perforation. In the last five years, manufacturers including Cook Medical and C.R. Bard have faced thousands of lawsuits from Nevada patients who filed Reno medical product liability claims. Patients commonly reported that their IVC filters broke apart and caused serious organ damage.

Nevada Product Liability Laws

Millions of people suffer dangerous complications and serious injuries from defective medical products each year. Nevada product liability laws govern product design defects, product manufacturing defects, and products that fail to provide adequate warnings and instructions for proper use. Nevada lawyers who handle Reno medical product liability claims commonly represent Nevada residents who suffer a wide range of injuries caused by defective products.

Every state has the same laws governing defective products. In all product liability cases, the injured party must prove that the product was defective and that the defect caused the injury. When liability is proven, injured parties have the right to be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, necessary recovery care, lost income, loss of companionship, and other losses. The statute of limitations for product liability claims in Nevada is four years.