Medical mishaps cost plenty. A study of all medical errors in 2008 reported $19.5 billion is being lost in the U.S. economy due to these medical error issues. The third largest culprit, after pressure sores and postoperative infections, was medical device errors. Mechanical failure of devices, implants and grafts came in at $1.1 billion in 2008. With the amount of devices that have failed in recent years, that number is only going to rise.
What Is Considered A Medical Device Error?
Medical devices are used to prevent, treat or diagnosis ailments and diseases. They vary from something as simple as a thermometer to complex devices such as pacemakers and kidney dialysis machines. These devices are designed to be of service in promoting health, but when they are defective in design or are not used properly, they can actually cause harm. Three basic types of medical device errors are common:
- Defective devices or design. If a medical device fails, it can be due to a poor design, malfunctions, poor materials or how it was manufactured. Manufacturers of the device may be held liable for injuries caused by the device, including pain and suffering.
- Usage errors. Medical device errors due to usage are often due to improper instruction on how to use the device, lack of warnings or poor labeling. Medical devices should be easy to operate, with controls easy to see and use.
- Clinical problems. Some people may have reactions to using a device that was not considered, causing more harm than good. Other clinical issues may be if a medical device was not inserted or implanted correctly by a physician or surgeon.
Medical devices that are defective in design or are manufactured incorrectly are generally a product liability legal issue. However, a medical device that works properly but was improperly fitted by a doctor, such as a hip replacement or pacemaker, may be a medical malpractice issue due to the surgeon’s error.
Medical Device Usage Issues
Many of the problems that arise from medical devices is not that they do not work, but instead that they are not easy use. If instructions are not clear or can be easily misunderstood, people may be harmed due to misuse. For example, if an oxygen machine has different levels of liters given per minute with a dial indicating 1, 2, 3 and so forth, that is easy enough to use. However, if the machine does not function at all if the dial is not set exactly on 1, 2, or 3, then a patient could accidentally be left with no oxygen due to the user error. It is a mistake that could easily be made if there are not proper instructions.
These instructional and usage issues can be life threatening due to the nature of the devices. Many people count on pacemakers, stents, heart defibrillators and many other medical devices to keep them healthy and even alive. When these products are made poorly, or are not easy to use by either medical professionals or their patients, it can cause injuries and even loss of life.
Have You Been Victim To A Medical Device Error? Contact a Medical Device Attorney Now.
If you are not sure where to turn due to being injured from a medical device, come talk to us at Chicago Injury Center. We can advise you on what rights you have regarding receiving compensation for your injury. Depending on the circumstance, there may be either a product liability issue or a medical malpractice case. Either way, our consultation is free and we are experienced in handling all types of medical device error cases.
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