Advances in technology help people across the country and here in Ohio live better lives. Medical devices give people another chance at life that they would not otherwise have. When they work well, that is. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the devices implanted in patients’ bodies may not have undergone testing in order to avoid hazardous materials from causing harm to them.
For example, in 2003, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device to relieve pain that gets implanted into a patient’s spine. The problem is that it can cause significant respiratory issues or even death. There is a chance of cobalt poisoning from artificial hips, which could result in brain and heart problems. Implanted defibrillators could malfunction and give too large a shock to patients.
Research indicates that over 80,000 people died due to defective medical devices and around another 1.7 million people suffered injuries from them. Some blame the FDA’s approval process for not being strict enough. Most of the issue stems from an old rule that does not require the proper testing for any device that meets the “substantial equivalence” test. This antiquated system puts far too many people at risk.
Until the FDA implements better rules regarding the testing of medical devices, patients here in Ohio and elsewhere could end up with hazardous materials in their bodies. For those who end up suffering injuries, or families who end up losing loved ones, due to defective implants, it may be possible to pursue restitution for the damages caused. Any monies received as the result of a successful claim could help with the current and future health care needs of a victim or help a family move forward.