There are thousands of medical devices on the market, from hip and knee implants to CPAP machines to meshes used to repair hernias. Many of these products help patients to recover from injuries and painful conditions in order to live healthier lives. However, sometimes, defects in the way these devices are made or designed can cause serious harm and even death. Defective medical devices can result in the need for additional surgeries and can leave patients with life-long pain.
Common quality defects
There are many types of medical equipment defects, but they often fall into three different categories:
- Design defect: When products are designed, they go through testing and evaluations to determine whether they work. The research and development phase of product design may not always be conducted in a complete and thorough way. Sometimes, products are re-designed, re-sized, re-labeled or completely re-modeled with new features added. On occasion, defective design can result in injuries to patients.
- Manufacturing defects: Even though a product may be well designed, it may not be manufactured properly. During assembly and construction, medical devices might not be made correctly, perhaps due to human error or poor maintenance of the equipment used to make the device. Inconsistent assembly techniques, incorrect parts and inappropriate raw materials might play a role in leading to a problem with the device that causes harm to those who use it.
- Performance defects: This involves the product not meeting expectations and not working the way it was intended to work. Examples include malfunction or unexpected outcomes.
Sometimes, a defective medical device can cause serious harm to a patient and may result in the ability to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Those who believe they have been injured due to a medical device should look out for product recalls. There are several steps in the process of proving negligence on the part of the manufacturer. That is why it is important for victims of potentially defective devices to contact qualified attorneys to assist them in the process of determining whether they might have a legitimate case.