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Shapiro & Appleton

Medical Device Safety a Neglected Priority

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Tuesday's Virginian-Pilot featured a front-page story I already knew all too well. In a nutshell, the story is that no one involved in the manufacture, regulation, sale or implantation of medical devices has a complete handle on ensuring that the devices are safe.

The article relates case after case in which surgeons did not get the news that a device had been recalled, when ignorance of a product defect caused patients months of unnecessary pain, and when a recall notice was so garbled that no one could take meaningful action. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does review and register medical devices before the products reach patients, the agency has few resources to follow-up on safety issues. Often, the information the agency does have on device safety issues reaches doctors, surgeons, suppliers and patients only in dribs and drabs.

Hundreds of thousands of patients have medical devices ranging from replacement hips and knees to bone braces and pins implanted each year. Unfortunately, some of these surgeries result in further injury to the patients, either because of medical malpractice or malfunctioning or faulty equipment.

My colleagues and I have spent more than 20 years representing patients harmed by medical devices and surgical errors. My hope is that the increased attention brought to the issue of medical device safety will help protect patients from harm moving forward.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law, and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.

EJL
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