Girardi | Keese

Defective Medical Devices: Medtronic Drug Infusion Pumps Recalled

Medtronic has, yet again, recalled some of its devices. This time, the devices are drug infusion pumps whose motors can stall and fail to deliver medications to patients. Due to the defective devices, patients have experienced a return of their symptoms and even death.

Even though the Food and Drug Administration has labeled this recall a Class I recall (meaning that the devices could kill patients), the defective medical devices are still on the market. "The SynchroMed pump continues to demonstrate reliability at or above expected levels," a spokeswoman for Medtronic said. Yet, there have been more than 560 complaints since 2007 regarding the devices.

In the letter that Medtronic sent to healthcare professionals warning them of the issue, the company noted that the drug infusion pumps failed 2.4 percent of the time with approved drugs and 7 percent with unapproved drugs. Medtronic has asked doctors to stop using the devices with compounded or unapproved drugs and closely monitor patients.

If a patient is injured because of a defective drug infusion pump or other medical device, he or she (or a family, in the case of wrongful death) can bring a defective medical device case against the device manufacturer. No one should be further injured by the devices that are supposed to help save their lives or prevent the return of symptoms.

Source: Bloomberg.com, "Medtronic Recalls Drug Pumps After Infusion Failures," Michelle Fay Cortex, Dec. 21, 2012

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