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Medical Device Errors

Injuries from a Medical Device? Speak with a Cook County Injury Lawyer Today.

Many people who face chronic or life-threatening medical problems undergo surgery in which medical devices are implanted in their bodies or used as tools during a surgical procedure. They may recover and feel fine, only to experience negative effects because of mistakes in using or maintaining the medical device. Some patients may even die because of post-operative infections resulting from sterilization errors made by the surgical team. If you or a loved one suspects that your health issues may be related to a medical device, request a free case evaluation with a Cook County injury lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates today.

In some cases, patients’ injuries are a result of defective medical devices. If your legal team can prove this, the negligent manufacturer could be liable. However, if the medical device was safe, it could mean that a member of the surgical team either used it incorrectly or the apparatus was not sterilized properly. In either event, if negligence was involved, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Surgical Devices and Equipment That can Injure or Kill if Improperly Used

There are many pieces of medical equipment and surgical devices that can injure you, no matter if they are used correctly or not. Some, but not all, medical device errors can include:

  • Vital sign monitoring equipment
  • Surgical tools (saws, vacuum suction devices, autoclaves that sterilize instruments)
  • Heart valves
  • Knee hip or other artificial joint replacements
  • Pacemakers
  • Stents
  • Prosthetics
  • Transvaginal meshes or other hernia patches
  • IUDs

Even heart defibrillators, which are now commonly found almost everywhere, have harmed some people because medical professionals used them incorrectly.

Every year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests and approves the latest medical devices before they can be used in healthcare. Even after a device is approved, the agency still monitors it. The FDA requires manufacturers, doctors and other healthcare professionals who use the device to notify them by submitting Medical Device Reports (MDRs) that disclose events that may endanger patients. The FDA also monitors all procedures associated with these pieces of equipment, especially if the manufacturer wishes to market it for a different use than originally intended. So when considering the use of a device in a different way, if the surgeon is not current on FDA bulletins about the device, then uses it and harms a patient, medical malpractice may be present.

Damages, Investigations and Other Issues of Surgical Malpractice Cases

Injured plaintiffs or surviving family members in medical device negligent injury and wrongful claims can seek two general types of damages:

  • Compensatory damages are for actual harm the patient suffered, including past medical bills, all direct and indirect costs of repairing the physical harm, lost wages, plus pain and suffering. In the event of a wrongful death, emotional and monetary losses, compensation of the victim’s lost income, funeral expenses and other costs incurred, and other damages unique to these cases may be sought.
  • Additional punitive damages might be awarded if gross negligence or willful intent on the part of anyone on the surgical team may have caused the medical device error. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant(s) and prevent negligent behavior from being repeated.

The law requires all hospitals and surgical centers to keep careful records of what happens in the operating room. A seasoned law firm’s medical investigators and experts can get to the bottom of the injury. This helps determine which surgeon or member of their operating team committed the error that led to your injury or family member’s wrongful death.

If you suffered a surgical injury due to negligent use or improper sterilization of a medical device or instrument, Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced surgical malpractice attorneys offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT.