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Study concludes that defective medical device may cause death

When people seek medical attention, they assume they will receive the best care possible given their individual situation, and rightfully so. However, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), this is not always the case, and Maine residents need to be aware they may be the victim of a defective medical device. The group's year-long investigation revealed a few disturbing realities among the manufacturers of medical implant devices: pacemakers, artificial joints, etc. According to the findings, it seems this industry is more about money and less about optimum patient care.

The ICIJ study, called The Implant Files, saw journalists collaborating with reporters and data specialists worldwide. The study included patient interviews, as well as thorough reviews of health records and device incident reports. In addition, through several million "adverse event" reports sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the past decade, journalists found that millions of injuries and thousands of deaths had been caused by faulty medical devices.

Money seems to be the motivating factor here, claim the investigators. Over the past two decades, the medical device industry has more than tripled, meaning companies can invest money toward efforts to ensure devices are approved for sale, even if they are substandard in quality. With such profits, companies can also afford to pay their way out of any problems regarding the devices. To keep the public informed, ICIJ created the International Medical Devices Database, which includes recalls, safety notices and the like from 11 countries. Patients considering a particular device can check the database for any safety issues concerning that product.

Patients requiring these medical devices have the right to feel safe about using the product their doctor has provided them, but as this study has revealed, unfortunately, medical consumers need to be aware of potential dangers. Maine residents who have been harmed in any way by a defective medical device such as a medical implant may wish to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can review their case details and provide information concerning a possible civil lawsuit. A successfully litigated claim can provide compensation for monetary losses that tend to arise in such situations.

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Terry Garmey & Associates
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Portland, ME 04101

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