Defective Medical Product Lawyers
If you put your faith in medicine only to suffer as a result of a defective medical device, you deserve compensation for your injuries. This compensation can cover your additional medical expenses as well as lost wages, ongoing disability, and your pain and suffering. Your compensation also penalizes the people that manufactured and marketed the defective device so that they do not profit when they cut corners for safety.
If you have been hurt by a defective medical device, protect your rights by consulting with a Michigan defective medical product lawyer. At Jay Trucks, we can give you a free case evaluation so you know your rights and what your case is worth. Please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
What Are Defective Medical Devices?
Defective medical devices are medical devices that by a flaw in design, a manufacturing error, or over-marketing do not provide the measure of help they are supposed to. Sometimes, the devices simply do not provide the necessary or desired treatment. Other times, the devices themselves may cause additional, sometimes life-threatening, injuries.
Some defective medical devices that have been recently revealed:
- Joint replacement implants (Such as the DePuy hip and Zimmer NexGen knee, see below)
- Hernia patches
- Implanted defibrillators
- Medication infusion pumps
- Trans Vaginal Mesh
All of these devices did not work as they were supposed to, and in most cases the complications from them caused further damage or injury requiring additional medical treatment.
How Defective Medical Devices Get to You
Medical device manufacturers exist to make a profit. The profit model for medical device manufacturers includes trying to be the first to offer a new type of medical device that can either treat a new condition or promises benefits over existing technologies. In order to be first, medical device companies can sometimes do inadequate testing or even deliberately manipulate data to ensure a device gets approval. For the approval trials, manufacturers pick only the best candidates, rather than a representative sample. They may find excuses to exclude data from candidates that have adverse results. Sometimes, the doctors that perform the trials are also investors in the device and have a vested interest in getting it approved.
Other times, medical device manufacturers may take a device that is adequate for some cases and market it to completely inappropriate candidates and their doctors. The motive is simply to sell more products and increase revenue, but the fallout is that people get devices they should never have received. When the device fails, these patients may be worse off than before with significant additional complications, which may lead to death or permanent disability.
Joint Replacement Implants
Recently, two defective joint replacements have called attention to the dangers of defective medical devices, the DePuy ASR hip replacement and the Zimmer NexGen knee replacement.
The DePuy ASR hip replacement system is one that has shown problems almost from its introduction in July 2003. In 2008 and 2009, the FDA received over 300 complaints about the ASR, and 90% of those complaints involved a need for revision surgery. In Australia, the company was forced to withdraw the implant from the market because of the device’s high failure rate. The full scale of the failure was known when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales published its figures, showing that the various types of ASR systems had failure rates of 12-13%, more than twice the industry standard for hip implants. Once these figures became public, Depuy Orthopaedics, a Johnson and Johnson company, recalled the ASR hip replacements.
The ASR is one of a family of what are described as metal on metal joint implants. Early on, people raised concerns that this type of joint could lead to potential toxic exposure to metal as the two surfaces rubbed against one another, creating metal shards that could contaminate local tissues or spread through the body. Recent case studies show that this can lead not just to revision surgery but to:
- Shortness of breath
- Ringing in the ears and hearing loss
- Visual changes including loss of vision
- Hand tremor
- Loss of coordination
- Cognitive decline
Many of these changes seem to be reversible if the implant is removed, but the long-term impact of toxic exposure to metal is not known.
Now we are seeing very high failure rates for the Zimmer NexGen knee replacement. These knee replacement implants are known as a “cementless” implant, one that is designed to integrate with the bone so that the implant is secured without using bone cement. However, a recent case study showed that 36% of patients using this implant had some degree of implant loosening, and over 9% had loosening and pain severe enough to require revision surgery. According to the surgeons who performed the series, the implant “should not be used for any patient,” but the device remains on the market.
If you have suffered injury as a result of the DePuy ASR hip replacement, the Zimmer NexGen knee replacement, or another defective medical device, please contact the Michigan defective medical product lawyer of Jay Trucks & Associates, PC.