Across the U.S millions of Americans live their lives with implants in their body, designed to help them overcome medical problems. So many Americans still are treated with medical devices that have not been rigorously tested.
There are hundreds of horror stories on the internet of what happens when these medical devices go wrong. From cases like the well-known Medtronic class action lawsuit to the Therac-25, which gave patients morethan 100 times the radioactive dose they were meant to receive. Tthe side effects from the following infamous devices make you wonder how they ever passed the testing phase at all.
Possibly one of the most shocking cases of medical devices going wrong the Therac-25 was a device designed to administer radiotherapy to patients in the 1980s. Controlled by a computer, the machine accidentally administered radiation doses that were hundreds of times stronger than what they were meant to be. Between 1985 and 1987, six accidents happened where, because of computer programming errors, patients ended up being given severe radiation poisoning. This resulted in the death or serious injury of each patient. Three of the patients died from this poisoning.
Two of the accidents happened because a fault in the machine because the radiotherapy was administered in the wrong mode. In previous models, there were locks in place that had to be overridden by a real person, in the Therac-25 these locks were removed; instead, the locks were controlled by a computer program. These accidents happened when a flaw in this programming, allowed for the machine to activate in the wrong mode.
Medtronic Bone Graft
In 2018, Medtronic paid out a settlement of more than $42 million dollars over claims that the procedure leads to serious complications for tens of thousands of patients. Since 2008, the company has had to set aside $300 million dollars to resolve all of the lawsuits leveled against the company.
The Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft was a treatment that was pushed upon patients by doctors, despite a lack of rigorous testing over the long term complications. The fuse was lit in 2008 when a 78-year-old woman died as a result of the surgery. Since then, thousands of patients have claimed that the procedure has given them lifelong complications, ranging from unwanted bone growth to cancer and in some cases, even death.
Johnson & Johnson Hip Replacement
In January 2019, Johnson & Johnson had to pay out a $120 million dollar settlement across 46 states. The lawsuit was filed after it was proven it had been lying about the effectiveness and durability of its hip replacement products. In both products investigated, the investigators discovered that both products deteriorated faster than advertised. This violated laws surrounding consumer protection. It is not the first time Johnson & Johnson have been found guilty of such things. The company is still fighting lawsuits under allegations that one of its leading products, talcum powder, leads to ovarian cancer in females that use the product regularly.
These cases show the importance of researching any procedure that you are planning on undertaking. Make sure you get external verification that the procedure is legit, don’t just take the doctor’s word as gospel.
Unfortunately, for the thousands affected in the stories above, they learned this the hard way.