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The technological advances in the medical field can be life-altering and life-saving. Unfortunately, they can also be life-threatening in some cases. Some new medical devices have fatal flaws, and even perfect devices can be deadly in imperfect hands.
Manufacturers of medical devices can be held liable for devices that are defective or cause injury to patients. Here's a look at three recent medical device lawsuits, from our archives:
Olympus is probably more well-known for their personal cameras, but they also make medical cameras and scopes, namely a duodenoscope that's used to inspect the top of the small intestine. The problem with Olympus's scope is that, after it has been used, it is nearly impossible to properly clean and disinfect or sterilize before it is used on another patient. This increases the risk of infection, and several outbreaks of a superbug have been tied to the use of Olympus scopes.
Why risk a human surgeon's shaky hands when you can have a steady robotic arm do the same work? It sounds good on paper, but in the real world there's no way to completely eliminate the inherent dangers of surgery. Robot surgeons have been known to leave broken or burned robotic parts in patients, make uncontrolled movements, spontaneously power off or suffer system errors mid-surgery, or even send electrical sparks flying. But how do you sue the pants off a robot?
Not all medical devices are for diagnosis and surgery -- some are meant to stick with you. An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is inserted into a vein leading into the heart and is designed to treat deep vein thrombosis and prevent blood clots from blocking blood flow to the lungs. Unfortunately, patients can be at risk of device migration, device fracture, and even perforation on the vein if the device is left in too long, and there is an increased risk of fatal pulmonary embolisms.
If you've been injured by these or any other medical devices, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your claim. Many attorneys are happy to talk about your case for free.