Many people owe their quality of life and even the fact that they are alive to medical devices such as artificial joint implants, pacemakers and pain pumps. However, the FDA often recalls medical devices after hundreds — if not thousands — of people have received these devices in their bodies.
What do you do if you find out that a medical device implanted in your body is later considered a defective product? Is there someone that you need to talk to before you go back to your doctor? Knowing the proper methods of moving forward to take care of your recalled product is important in order to make sure the problem is properly handled.
How do you know your device is defective?
Most people learn they have a defective medical device from a notice received in the mail froma device manufacturer. Many will never suffer any adverse consequences. Others may experience medical problems because of the defective device and suffer from the complications that prompted the recall in the first place. Recall notices can come through media channels as well, based on information released by the FDA, but few people pay close attention to such reports. Finally, they may learn about recalls through personal injury attorneys handling class action cases, who must make a reasonable effort to locate any patients who might have a stake in the suit.
Not Another Surgery!
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is careful to point out that, “A medical device recall does not always mean that you must stop using the product or return it to the company. A recall sometimes means that the medical device needs to be checked, adjusted, or fixed.” When it comes to medical devices within the body, however, even an adjustment may mean surgery, the risk of death, additional medical costs and considerable pain for the patient.
Where to Turn?
Beware of medical device manufacturers that attempt to interview or contact you directly regarding a defective device. Some medical device manufacturers have attempted to interview recipients of failing implants without their attorneys present.
Patients, unaware of their rights and the risks of talking to a medical device manufacturer, have compromised their ability to secure a settlement that could have paid for revision surgeries and the pain and suffering these added surgeries cause.
Any patient affected by a medical device recall or failure should talk to his or her doctor about the cause of the failure and the steps needed to correct the problem. If the doctor presents any paperwork necessary for rectifying the problem, do not sign any authorizations for medical information until you have a chance to also consult an attorney. A qualified personal injury attorney knows how to handle defective medical device cases and can help you make smart decisions. Only after conferring with each of these professionals should you decide how to proceed.
Our experienced staff of attorneys can review your case to help you decide if you should pursue a claim for injuries. Because the law limits the time allowed to file a claim, you should contact us quickly for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.