Girardi | Keese

Defective medical device leads to death of Seattle man

No matter where you live, from one side of the country to the next, you need to be extremely careful of the type of medical attention you receive. While all medical devices are meant to help the patient lead a healthier life, there are times when things take a turn for the worse. Our California readers will find this story interesting, as it could happen to anyone, regardless of location.

A Seattle man recently died at a Veterans Affairs hospital, with his death certificate stating that the cause was throat cancer. After an investigation, it was found that a medical device, known as Infusomat, which was previously recalled, led to the man's death.

During the same week the device was recalled, a trainer for the German company that manufactures the product visited the Veterans Affair hospital to teach nurses how the machine is used. According to the nurses at the hospital, the trainer told them the machine was safe to use, despite the fact that the manufacturer had released a correction for a breakable plastic clip. As a result, the hospital began to use the machine even though there was an "urgent medical correction letter" of the Class I type published on FDA.gov.

Although it appears that none of the problems of the Infusomat were present, the machine still emptied all its morphine into the patient, resulting in his death.

Defective medical devices are meant to help patients, but in some instances, such as this one, they cause more harm than good. A personal injury attorney with experience in this area of the law can help protect the rights of victims and their families, as well as helping them to seek compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic claims.

Source: KUOW.org, "How A Recalled Medical Device Killed A Vet At Seattle's VA Hospital " John Ryan, Dec. 05, 2013

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