An article in the New England Journal of Medicine called the Riata heart defibrillator another example of the lack of patient safety monitoring in the U.S. According to the article, the device’s defect was not recognized as quickly as it should have been because,“U.S. surveillance systems are lacking.” Systems currently in place do not detect defects until thousands of patients have already been exposed to a new, potentially harmful device. By that time, safety monitoring is more difficult because it is harder to track patients using the defective devices. Personal injury attorneys strongly believe that these issues should be addressed immediately in order to protect patients.
Wires in the Riata device can break free from the insulated cables and cause the device to fail to deliver electric shocks when needed.
Experts say more studies should be conducted after life-sustaining devices are used in patient care to monitor the effect the device is having on the patient. The studies would help to identify problems and assist in creating a guide for patient treatment and follow up.
As a result of the high failure rate of the Riata, many patients have had the defective device removed. Two patients have died and others were seriously injured following the extractions of the Riata.
St. Jude, manufacturers of the Riata and other devices to treat heart conditions, recalled the defective device last year because of its potential risk of serious injury or patient death. Approximately 79,000 patients in the U.S. still have the Riata device.
The company warned that Riata patients who need frequent shocks from their defibrillator to restore a normal heart rhythm and those who are dependent on pacemakers may be at greater risk for failure of the defective devices.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving pharmaceutical and medical device injuries. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured by a defective medical device, a negligent medical provider, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.