A defective medical device or piece of equipment always poses a danger to patients who rely on them for their health. Few defective medical devices are as immediately hazardous and life-threatening as a faulty pacemaker or defibrillator, though. Either implanted in the chest cavity or under the skin, these devices use electronics to monitor and regulate a patient’s heartbeat. If something goes wrong, the results can be fatal.
Four of the most common ways defective pacemakers and defibrillators fail are:
- No read out: Some pacemakers are designed to help patients and medical responders immediately know how the patient’s heart is beating. Signs of an irregular pulse can allow them to make the decision to defibrillate, use CPR, or other options in a medical emergency. If a pacemaker is defective, it may give no indication of heart health, complicating matters when clarity is key.
- False readings: Pacemakers can also send out a warning signal to external devices, such as one kept on the patient’s arm, when serious pulse irregularities occur, possibly indicating a heart attack. If the device is faulty, it may cause the patient to believe they are having a heart attack when they are actually fine. This, in turn, causes panic and a placebo effect, inducing a real heart attack.
- No discharge: Defibrillators that are installed under the skin are designed to emit strong electric pulses to restart or correct a heart automatically when it stops beating or beats irregularly. A defibrillator that has lost power unexpectedly or has wiring issues will not emit a lifesaving shockwave.
- Unnecessary discharge: Too much of a good thing is very true when it comes to defibrillators. If a defective defibrillator shoots out lifesaving electric currents when there is currently no heart problem with the patient, it can actually be the source of irregular heartbeats and cardiac arrest. Due to the fact that a discharge caused the heart attack, the defibrillator will not have any power stored to emit another discharge to stop the heart attack.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been recalling more and more pacemakers and defibrillators in recent years, they cannot have their eyes on everything, and dangerous medical products made by negligent manufacturers do remain on the market. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective pacemaker, defibrillator, or similar device, you should call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at 866-675-4427. Our team of Stuart product liability attorneys can help you create a claim that seeks compensation for all of your damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. Contact us now for more information.