The field of medicine has made incredible advancements in this age of technology. Things that were once impossible are now standard procedure, and things that were once dangerous carry much less risk.
However, technology is not foolproof; it can malfunction like anything else or come with hidden side effects that outweigh its benefits. This is often true in medical care, which saw a two-fold increase in recalls from 2003 to 2012, shares AARP. How do medical devices become defective?
Making an idea a reality begins with putting it down on paper (or on the computer). In the case of a device, this means creating the design. The process usually comprises multiple steps, as first designs are unlikely to be perfect. Testing is also necessary to ensure the design is fit for manufacturing and consumer use. Despite the complex process, the design may still prove to be harmful. It may be due to an error in calculation or not enough rigorous testing. In some cases, the mistake may be apparent but goes through anyway to get the product on the market sooner.
Perhaps the design is flawless and the fault lies with the company that makes the parts or assembles the product. The materials may not meet quality standards, or the manufacturing process may exclude or fumble an important step. Often, many parties are involved in this aspect of the product’s creation, expanding who may be liable for the defective device.
It may seem that doctors should know every detail about the tools and equipment they use, but that is not realistic. They rely on the warnings and instructions that come with the device to help ensure safe usage. When this information is absent, unclear, inaccurate or unthorough, the device may unintentionally end up damaging your health instead of helping you. If warnings and instructions are sufficient but the doctor did not install or use the device correctly, then you may have a medical malpractice claim on your hands.