When your doctor recommends a medical device for heart issues, you want to believe that the device has been well-designed and properly tested. Sometimes, however, manufacturers of these life-critical devices make mistakes. Most times, those issues result in recall and replacement procedures to ensure that patients aren’t put at risk.
Once in a while, however, a manufacturer will discover an issue and take steps to cover it up instead of going public and taking responsibility for the problem. It has recently been discovered that St. Jude Medical intentionally tried to avoid responsibility for a faulty device.
The medical device in question was an implanted defibrillator and its function was to help start the heart in cases of a heart attack or failure. The issue the device experienced was an early failure of the batteries, resulting in a device that didn’t actually protect the people who received it. In one reported case from 2014, a patient’s death is directly tied to the premature failure of the batteries in a St. Jude Medical device.
St. Jude knew about the problem but didn’t take action
Records make it clear that St. Jude Medical was aware of the issue with these devices at least as early as 2014. They were aware of serious issues with batteries in devices made and installed over the course of more than half a decade but took no steps to resolve the issue.
Eventually, St. Jude medical initiated a recall of the devices in October of 2016, but shortly after the recall, the company still shipped 10 more of the faulty devices to medical facilities. Seven of those devices were then implanted into patients. Those patients could have grounds for a serious lawsuit against St. Jude Medical.
The doctors in question should also have been taking greater care to ensure that the medical devices they were using were safe and functional. Recall information about medical devices should be actively sought by surgeons and other medical professionals to ensure that patients are only receiving the best and most trustworthy devices. Failure of a cardiovascular medical device can very well cause serious injuries, hospitalization, or death.
As a final, frightening note, the company also failed to take critical cybersecurity steps to protect the devices from hacking. These critical medical devices could be controlled by someone with devious or deadly intentions. If you or someone you love received a St. Jude Medical implanted defibrillator or other defective medical advice, you need an attorney. He or she can pursue a claim for any losses, including medical costs for a replacement, lost wages and other expenses.