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5 potentially deadly medical devices

Surgical patients trust that all aspects of their complicated procedure run smoothly. From the training of the medical professionals to the reliability of medical devices, even a seemingly minor fault or mishap can have catastrophic consequences.

Even though manufacturers test medical devices through the design, production and implementation phases, there are often unforeseen challenges that crop up and endanger a patient’s continued health. Numerous medical devices have led to worsening conditions and new injuries, including:

  • Transvaginal mesh: Transvaginal mesh is a material used to treat women who experience pelvic muscle weakness often due to childbirth, surgery or age. Unfortunately, the mesh can contract after implantation leading to pain, infection, bowel or bladder perforation, or vaginal scarring.
  • Hernia mesh: Surgeons might install a mesh after a hernia surgery to support damaged tissue and quicken recovery. Unfortunately, the mesh can perforate the intestines, puncture the bowels and lead to sepsis.
  • Neurovascular stents: Used to treat brain aneurysms, a neurovascular stent could fail putting a patient at risk for stroke or death.
  • Hip implants: Due to age or bodily damage because of injury, many individuals require a hip implant for continued mobility. Unfortunately, a hip implant can result in pain, inflammation, joint instability, dislocation and the need for revision surgery.
  • IVC filters: Often used to prevent blood clots from reaching the heart or lungs, inferior vena cava filters (IVC) can dislodge and migrate while puncturing organs and damaging veins.

If these devices are not properly tested, installed and monitored, the patient might suffer catastrophic or fatal conditions. Additionally, patients might suffer injuries due to faulty surgical instruments, failed monitoring and defective prostheses. Unfortunately, these issues often lead to devastating illnesses, worsening conditions or fatal injuries.