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Winnebago County defective medical device attorneysMedical advances in the last several decades have enabled people to live longer, healthier lives. Surgical tools and other medical devices have made it possible for many medical procedures to become less invasive, less risky, and require less recovery time. Unfortunately, defects in the way medical devices are designed or manufactured can make the products dangerous or even life-threatening to patients. If you were harmed by a faulty medical device, the fault may not lie with the medical facility or doctor who used the device. The fault may instead lie with the device designer, manufacturer, or seller.

Understanding the Difference Between Product Liability and Medical Malpractice

If a medical procedure or medical device caused you injury, you might assume that the injury falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice. However, a medical malpractice claim is appropriate when a medical professional or medical facility makes errors that cause injury to a patient. If a defect or flaw with the medical device itself was the cause of your injury, the issue may fall under product liability laws. 

Defective medical devices may cause pain, discomfort, or infection. Implanted devices may migrate from their original location, disintegrate, or stop working as intended. Often, product liability claims involve medical devices that have been recalled by the Federal Drug Administration because they have been found to present an unreasonable risk of harm to patients.

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Illinois defective products attorneysInsulin pumps are important devices that can make a world of a difference to suffers of diabetes. An insulin pump delivers insulin to the body at regular intervals based on the user’s needs. Many people find insulin pumps to be much easier to use and less painful than traditional insulin shots. Insulin pumps are often considered superior to other insulin delivery methods because the devices more effectively manage blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar lows. Unfortunately, some insulin pumps do the exact opposite of what they are intended to do. A company called Medtronic recently issued a recall of two types of its insulin pumps after major problems with the medical devices were discovered.

Malfunctioning Insulin Pumps Have Already Been Linked to Death

Over 300,000 Medtronic insulin pumps have been recalled after the FDA received thousands of reports of the devices malfunctioning.  Two models of the MiniMed 600 Series Insulin Pumps have been recalled because many of the devices contain a broken or missing retainer ring. The retainer ring is meant to tightly secure the insulin cartridge to the pump. When this component is defective, the user can receive an inaccurate dose of insulin. This can result in dangerous hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Sadly, at least one death and over 2,000 injuries have already been associated with the defective insulin pumps.

Liability for Defective Medical Devices

Designers and manufacturers of medical devices have an incredibly serious responsibility to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products. People who use medical devices like insulin pumps trust that these devices will work the way they are intended to work. In many cases, medical device users trust these companies with their lives. When a medical device company fails to uphold its duty to ensure products are safe, the company may be legally responsible for any injuries or death that are caused by a faulty device. If you have been injured or your loved one was killed after a medical device malfunctioned, you may have a valid product liability claim. You may be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, missed work, and more.

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Rockford defective drugs attorneysWhen a drug that has been prescribed for you is recalled, it can be a very frightening experience. One day, you are taking the drug as normal, completely unaware of any problems, and suddenly, headlines are decrying the dangers associated with the medication. Should you stop taking your medication? Should you call 911? In the resulting confusion, it can be challenging to know just what to do, but it is important not to make any health-related decisions without first speaking to a doctor or medical professional.

Educate Yourself

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) handles all drug recalls in the United States. This includes voluntary recalls originating with the drug manufacturer. If a drug has been recalled, the FDA—along with a number of other reputable sources—will almost always provide information online regarding the reasons and potential dangers associated with the recall. In many cases, the potential for problems only exists for a small subset of all patients currently taking the drug. For example, a particular drug may present a previously unknown danger to patients who have a specific, seemingly unrelated coexisting condition.

Contact Your Pharmacist

A well-trained pharmacist can be an extremely valuable source of information related to prescription drugs. While he or she may not go into specifics regarding the experiences of other patients, he or she can advise you on possible alternatives to the recalled drug. It is very possible that only a particular production lot of the drug was recalled, and your pharmacist may be able to simply replace your current prescription with a non-recalled version. 

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