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Too Many Medical Devices Do More Harm Than Good

In recent years, medical technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. From hip replacement devices and pacemaker implants to artificial heart valves and prosthetics, we have access to many different products designed to improve and extend our lives.

The bad news is that not all these products work correctly. Some even cause serious injury or death.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists a wide array of medical devices (as well as foods, drugs, cosmetics, vaccines and other products) that are recalled every year. So far in 2015, the FDA has posted warnings about 15 different medical devices that are potentially harmful and on the recall list. That's a shocking number of problematic products, because the year is only half over.

Here are just a few of the devices marked for recall by the FDA this year:

  • HeartWare Ventricular Assist Systems (VAS) - This is designed for patients waiting for a heart transplant. It is intended to help circulate blood through the body. Unfortunately, certain models are prone to multiple problems. Among other things, they may build up static electricity, which can stop the device from working and potentially result in death.
  • Medtronic Shiley neonatal and pediatric tracheostomy tubes - These tubes are inserted as necessary into the airways of infants and small children to allow them to breathe. The problem is that the older tubes have a different angle than the newer tubes. When nursing staff switch a young patient from an older tube to a new one, it can result in airway obstruction. This leads to lack of oxygen and the potential for brain damage or death.
  • Maquet Medical Systems, Tiger Paw System II - This is a type of surgical staple intended to hold tissue together in a patient's heart. For some people, however, it does just the opposite, causing the heart tissue to tear. In turn, the patient may suffer serious harm or death.

If someone you love may have been injured by a faulty medical product of any kind in Ohio, it's wise to consult a lawyer skilled in product liability law. He or she can advise you further and potentially help your family recover the compensation you deserve.

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