You may fall into the same category as numerous other individuals who need some type of medical device in order to live your life as normally as possible. Because of the great strides in medical technology, even individuals with serious conditions can sometimes gain the ability to worry less about their health due to the devices provided to them. For instance, you may have a heart condition that requires an implanted defibrillator.
While a defibrillator can offer life-saving measures in the event that your condition causes to you suffer a health-related episode, the possibility exists that you could also suffer harm if your implanted defibrillator has defective parts or other issues.
A variety of health conditions could necessitate the use of an implanted defibrillator. Most commonly, individuals who have a significant risk of developing abnormal and rapid heart rhythms act as prime candidates for receiving such devices. Some heart conditions that could put you in need of a defibrillator include:
- Heart attack history
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cardiac arrest
- Heart failure
- Heart surgery
- Congenital heart defects and diseases
In many cases, having a defibrillator implant could help save your life in the event that you experience an abnormal heart rhythm.
Risk of death
However, when a defibrillator malfunctions, a serious risk of death could present itself. For instance, if battery issues result in a defibrillator losing its ability to function properly, it cannot provide the shock needed to correct an irregular heart rhythm. As a result, you and others with a defective device could face the risk of not receiving the life-saving benefits of the device.
This type of issue affected a type of defibrillator that St. Jude Medical produces. In relation to this defective medical device, at least two individuals died, and St. Jude Medical issued a recall of the defibrillators. However, at least seven of those defective devices ended up implanted in patients despite the recall.
Potential legal action
If you have suffered serious adverse health effects due to a defective defibrillator implant or someone you love died as a result of such a device, you may have cause to pursue legal action. You could become part of a mass tort if numerous other parties also suffered serious effects due to the same defective medical device. Consulting with a knowledgeable Texas attorney could help you better understand your options for pursuing compensation for the applicable damages suffered.