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How to know if your medical device is defective

Your medical device, whether a hip replacement or IUD, should help you, not harm you. Yet every year, the number of major adverse complications from medical devices continues to rise, notes The Expert Institute. These consequences include hospitalization, disability and death.

You may think that with such serious side effects, it would be easy to know if your medical device is defective or a health risk. However, the bad news is that signs of damage do not always present themselves right away. Be aware of how to recognize an unsafe device so you can know when you need to seek medical attention and take legal action.

Health symptoms

The most obvious sign is experiencing harm to your health. The device may fail, damage your organs, lead to an infection or cause severe pain. You may have an immediate reaction, or the device may slowly cause internal damage that does not manifest itself for years. It is important to keep track of health changes once you begin using a medical device and to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. 

Notice of recall from manufacturer

Often, manufacturers inform consumers on their own about the risks and complications of their products. The manufacturer may recall a whole product line even if only a few are problematic. Some remedies in a recall include getting an examination, repair or replacement of the device. The type of defect and the product classification (how risky it is) will determine the appropriate response.

FDA recall database

When a company begins the recall process, the FDA joins in to assess the company's plan and the risk of the recall. It also adds the recall to its database so you can stay informed on what devices are or may be dangerous. This information is useful not only for medical devices you currently have but also for avoiding the use of high-risk ones in the future.

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