Can medical devices play a role in medical malpractice?

Technology is at the center of many of our lives in Pittsburgh today. Much of technology has improved our quality of life, and this includes technology utilized in the medical device and drug industry. Many medical devices have been invented within the last several decades that doctors and patients use to treat various ailments. However, sometime these devices do not perform as they should, or the device is mishandled by hospital or medical staff.

This can lead to injuries for the patient who was at the center of the treatment plan involving a medical device. A medical device is any technology or medical tool that allows doctors or hospital staff to treat or examine a patient for the benefit of his or her improved health. There are all kinds of medical devices in use in hospitals today. One popular medical device, the pacemaker, has been known to short circuit, cause infections and behave in other undesirable ways that have made it the focus of many lawsuits.

Oftentimes, a medical device is just a part of a broader picture of a person's personal injury situation that can involve multiple defendants and potentially liable parties suspected of medical negligence. For example, a hospital may use a medical device to prepare patients for a heart operation. What if that person becomes sick due to an infection acquired prior to, during or after the surgery? The medical device may be to blame but so could a doctor's inability to treat the incision properly.

Instances of injury from medical devices are not always cut-and-dry. A medical device could be the root cause for injury, or it could be a smaller part of the issue that contributed to injury. Regardless, the medical device company could still be found at fault. It is not always hospital staff or doctors who are the main parties to blame after a patient suffers an injury and alleges medical malpractice.

Source: FindLaw, "What is drug and medical device injury law?," Accessed Dec. 5, 2016

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