Medical devices recalled due to safety concerns

Residents of Illinois may remember the recalls related to pelvic mesh implants and hip implants. After documents from the company that manufactured the hip implants showed there was a high risk of failure of the products, which could affect 40 percent of patients using the device, patients were forced to remove the devices and replace them. The pelvic mesh implants, which were used for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, were recalled after they were linked to pain and serious injuries.

Around 8,000 patients had to replace the hip implants and the company is facing a large number of medical products liability lawsuits all around the world following the recall. The pelvic mesh implants that were recalled two years back were the focus of 30,000 lawsuits from patients who used them. Recalls of these products led to bad publicity for the company and billions of dollars in lawsuits.

In April, the Food and Drug Administration stated that another product of the company had a higher risk of spreading cancer than previously believed. The products are power morcellators used in uterine surgeries. They cut the tissue into small pieces to remove fibroid tumors, which are then extracted through small incisions. The FDA stated that almost 50,000 surgeries in a year involve power morcellations of tissues.

After the FDA’s announcement of the heightened cancer risk the manufacturer announced suspension of its sales and marketing activities in connection with the device. The manufacturer has asked hospitals to return three models. Critics of the company wonder, however, if this action was taken to avoid further lawsuits.

As medical devices are used internally, any defect in them can cause considerable harm to the patient. One who believes they have been harmed by a medical device may benefit from consulting an Illinois defective product attorney. If evidence shows the product was defective the patient may be able to recover compensation from the manufacturer.

Source: The New York Times, “Johnson & Johnson Praised for Taking Uterine Surgery Tools Off Market,” Katie Thomas, July 31, 2014