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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Product liability: FDA warns about dangerous medical devices

Medical devices with hydrophobic and/or hydrophilic coatings have been in use for over 20 years. The function of the coatings is to lessen the friction between devices and blood vessels. The Food and Drug Administration recently brought awareness to the dangers posed by these coatings. Reportedly, they have been linked to 11 deaths of patients nationwide. In California and elsewhere, these types of issues often lead to product liability litigation. 

The FDA said the coatings could detach from the devices and cause severe injuries that may even lead to death. The devices with the friction-reducing coatings include guidewires, angioplasty catheters (both balloon and intravascular), implant delivery systems and delivery sheaths. Since Jan. 2010, 11 devices have been recalled. Since Jan. 2014, the FDA also received about 500 Medical Device Reports about the same problem.

Nursing home neglect likely more common than most realize

Intended to be places of peace, rest and care, nursing homes and residential care facilities are often prime options for families in California who can no longer care for elderly loved ones. With health care professionals and other skilled workers available night and day, it is no wonder that these facilities typically offer a safer and more caring environment for older individuals in need of highly specialized or time-consuming care. However, nursing home neglect tends to be more rampant that most people realize, putting the elderly and medically compromised at risk for serious injury or even wrongful death.

Based on a survey where elderly individuals self-reported instances of abuse, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that at least 10 percent of elders suffer from some type of abuse. Abuse included in the study ranged from emotional, sexual or physical abuse to financial manipulation. It was noted that since this study did rely on people to self-report the abuse, the real number of abused elders is likely even higher.

California patients may be affected by medical malpractice

California medical patients and those in other states place a certain amount of trust in each physician and health care professional who cares for them. Each patient has the right to reasonably assume that medical staff members will act according to the highest levels of safety standards and industry protocol. Yet, thousands of people are affected by medical malpractice incidents each year across the nation. It is good to know that there is legal help available in such situations.

The Law Offices of David P. Crandall are dedicated to assisting clients who have experienced pain and suffering due to doctor negligence or other medical error. We have an experienced team who is committed to obtaining just compensation for those who have suffered injury or illness at the hands of medical professionals. We are prepared to investigate the unique details of your individual situation in order to identify all possible sources of liability.

After all the hype, Theranos found to be defective medical device

Blood tests are readily used diagnostic procedures that many health care providers in California utilize in order to better understand the symptoms from which patients suffer. Traditionally, many blood tests require drawing vials of blood with a needle, but a medical tech startup claimed that it was changing the game of blood tests. Although the FDA initially released glowing reports of the new tests, it recently redacted those comments, instead labeling the product as a defective medical device.

Theranos -- a widely popular health care tech startup -- created the new blood test that reportedly functioned with only a single drop of blood. Rather than having to insert a needle into a vein, the test was supposedly able to gain the same information with only a prick of the finger. Theranos was widely praised for the advancement in technology, but after the Food and Drug Administration conducted inspections of the company's products and offices in Aug. and Sept. 2015, that all changed.

Experts claim cholesterol-lowering statin is defective drug

High cholesterol is a serious concern for any number of California patients, a worry that is shared by the millions of other people across the country who take cholesterol-lowering medication. Statin drugs are the most commonly prescribed drug for high cholesterol. However, just how safe are these drugs in the long term? Some experts cite new evidence that cholesterol-lowering statins actually create an increased risk of dying from a heart attack, the exact opposite of what the drugs are intended to do. It is not yet clear if pharmaceutical companies that produce these medications will have to face any product liability claims for manufacturing an apparent defective drug.

Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is an important aspect of overall health care and management as excessive cholesterol can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Many patients with high cholesterol are prescribed statins that, while effective at lowering cholesterol, are still not necessarily safe. For patients who do go on to have heart attacks even after taking the medication, their potential for surviving the ordeal is drastically decreased.

Medical malpractice numbers fueled by diagnostic errors

Despite progressions in technology and health care, patients in California are still at an alarmingly high risk of falling victim to a serious error -- misdiagnosis. According to one study, the vast majority of people in America will have an illness or disease misdiagnosed at least once in their lifetime. This type of negligent medical malpractice is not unavoidable, and yet patients continue to receive completely wrong diagnoses on a regular basis.

Even as other types of errors and malpractice have declined in the past 15 years, researchers found that diagnostic errors remained stubbornly constant. Diagnostic errors typically refer to situations in which a patient did not receive an accurate or timely explanation for his or her symptoms or condition. Since time can be an enormous factor in the overall success of many different treatments, a significant delay in a diagnosis typically still constitutes a diagnostic error even if the patient eventually was given the correct prognosis.

Don't suffer through nursing home neglect, we can help

Neglect of elders in a nursing home is often discussed under a single, sweeping umbrella, but this type of abuse can manifest in any number of ways. Even highly praised nursing homes in California can be the setting for terrible nursing home neglect. Unfortunately, by the time that a family is made aware of the situation, the damage has already been done.

Bedridden nursing home residents are particularly at risk for neglect, and inadequate transportation or turning can lead to painful and embarrassing afflictions. Bedsores are a common result of neglect against a resident who is unable to get out of bed by him or herself, although improper hygiene care is also a troubling issue. This puts bedridden individuals at a higher risk of contracting dangerous infections, many of which pose a serious threat to the elderly.

Couple file product liability suit after wife suffers injuries

American Medical System Inc. has been accused of manufacturing and distributing products that are dangerous and defective. At least one defective medical device has been specifically cited in a product liability suit filed against the company. The suit, which was filed outside of California by a wife and her husband, seeks compensation for damages related to the alleged defective product.

Back in 2011, the wife underwent a procedure to help address urinary incontinence. The Monarc Mid Urethal Sling was supposed to help with the incontinence and protect her from experiencing pelvic organ prolapse. According to the lawsuit, the AMS urethal sling ultimately did more harm than good.

Elderly driver causes fatal car accident inside of gym

Tragedy struck a California-area gym when, according to police, an elderly driver could no longer remember which pedal was used to accelerate and which pedal was for braking. This confusion resulted in a terrible car accident that caused multiple injuries and one fatality. Although the driver has not yet been charged with any criminal offense, the possibility has not been ruled out pending the further investigation.

Authorities say that the driver of the vehicle that caused the wreck was 80 years old and resident of the area. While attempting to park her vehicle, she apparently became confused about each pedal's purpose, and she used the accelerator rather than the brake. The driver consequently crashed through the front of the gym and proceeded to drive through part of its interior before finally coming to a rest.

Defective medical device blamed for permanent injury

There is little doubt that medical devices have made the world of health care a much safer and more successful place. While these advances have been incredibly worthwhile, when defects are allowed to sneak past regulatory agencies and affect consumers and patients in California, the outcome can be troublesome. Certain injuries caused by a defective medical device can even lead to lifelong complications.

While incarcerated in another state in 2008, a patient developed a painful groin hernia that required medical attention. Surgeons used a keyhole mesh to help repair the damage, but according to a suit filed by the patient, the device was defective. However, he continued to live with the defective keyhole mesh for approximately five years.