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There are many kinds of medical devices, also known as home health devices and home medical services, that serve a vast variety of functions. Over the counter medical devices such as thermometers and blood sugar meters help people monitor their own health until they need to seek the assistance of a medical professional. More complex medical devices, such as apnea monitors and ventilators, are usually prescribed and monitored by doctors. Other medical devices, including IVC filters and bone cement, must be surgically implanted by doctors and require more extensive supervision and monitoring.
Medical devices that are surgically implanted are composed of man-made substances like silicone, plastic, and titanium. The product testing period is supposed to ensure that implanting products made of non-natural substances will not harm the body or interfere with its own organic processes. Medical devices such as hip and knee replacement implants are supposed to mimic the composition and functionality of the body so as to enable the hip and knee to work more smoothly and without pain.
The substances used and functionality of medical devices are supposed to augment the health of the body and diminish problems. But sometimes they don’t.
Over 12,000 lawsuits have been filed for hip replacements, resulting in billions of dollars of court-ordered award settlements to injured patient plaintiffs. Patients with defective IVC filters have filed nearly 10,000 lawsuits, with court-ordered award settlements for patients in the millions. And thousands of Physiomesh lawsuits have results in millions of dollars of settlement awards for damages the product has caused patients. All this is to say that medical devices don’t always work—in fact, they don’t work much more often than is acceptable. And when defective medical devices malfunction or cause complications in consumer patients, the outcomes can be disastrous.
The amount and extent of damages caused by defective medical devices to innocent people are outrageous and tragic.
While many defective medical devices are recalled after enough people have come forward with complaints of the disastrous problems they cause, by this point the damage has been done to consumers who are left wondering what to do. Defective medical device product recalls cause about $5 billion in annual losses to the medical device industry—but that amount is miniscule compared to the hundreds of billions in profit they make every year.
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