Are death from defective medical devices always reported?

2019-12-06T12:20:12+00:00June 16th, 2016|

Developments in medical science and technology have meant a whole host of new medical devices that can help people with various ailments. For example, heart defibrillator implants can save lives, and artificial hips can allow people to walk without pain. But just like any other product on the market, medical devices can sometimes be defective and cause serious injuries or lead to a patient’s death.

One question that is cause for concern is whether all of these injuries and deaths from defective medical devices are being properly reported and addressed. Data from the Brookings Institution, which is a non-partisan think tank in Washington D.C., shows that roughly 3,000 deaths per year are caused in-part by defective medical devices. While that in itself is concerning, the bigger problem is that the actual numbers could be much higher.

Prescription drugs have unique identifying codes that make them easy to check for organizations that are tracking the safety of those drugs. Thus, the public can become more aware when injuries or deaths from dangerous drugs occur. By contrast, no such identifiers exist for medical devices. Rather, the Food and Drug Administration merely relies on hospitals, nursing homes and medical device manufacturers to report any known problems with the devices. But even the FDA has warned that this kind of reporting is not complete and accurate.

If a person in Orange County, or their loved ones, suspect that they have been injured from an unsafe product like a defective medical device, they should research their legal options. Even if the FDA or some other organization has not warned about the product, it still may cause injuries. In such cases, the injured victims can file products liability claims against the manufacturer, and possibly other related parties.

Source: The New York Times, “Why Medical Devices Aren’t Safer,” Austin Frakt, Accessed on June 2, 2016