By Joe Messa
Medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates recently discovered the results of a study, reported by the American College of Cardiology, that revealed that St. Jude Medical’s Riata wires may have additional defects. According to the study, the wires have multiple defects that could lead to melted conductors, electrical abnormalities, and unnecessary shocks. The report was based on an analysis of 105 of the cases involving the failed wires. St. Jude recalled the Riata wires last year, but about 79,000 heart patients still have the failed wires in use.
Cardiac defibrillators are small medical devices implanted in the chest and connected to the heart via wires, called leads. The devices are most commonly used in heart attack survivors or patients with dangerous heart rhythms. A defibrillator will shock the patient’s heart back into a normal rhythm if it starts beating erratically or stops entirely.
Experts working on a way to manage patients who have Riata wires connected to their defibrillators say they are mostly concerned because there is no way to detect the defect until after something happens. The wires can be removed, but U.S. regulators say that removing the Riata wires could pose an even higher risk to patients.
St. Jude is currently conducting a clinical trial of more than 500 patients using Riata wires to determine frequency of a defect and what happens to the wires over time. Some researchers believe the movement of the Riata wires within the insulated cord frays the coating enabling the wires to break free. Once the wire is exposed, it has the ability to flex causing additional damage that can worsen over time.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical errors and defective medical devices. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of a medical error, defective medical device, or any other type of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More