Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

Defective medical devices hurt Texans

Medical devices can make lives better. Indeed, many Texans benefit from these devices every day. But as with any product, some medical devices are poorly designed or made. These defects can varying effects on their users from minor to deadly. When the worst happens, Texans have legal options, including a lawsuit.

Medical devices are any tool that a doctor might use to treat a patient. These devices are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. In turn, the devices are divided into three categories. Class I includes items like scalpels and surgical gloves. Class II includes items like wheelchairs and surgical pumps. Class III includes items like pacemakers and bone implants.

Some devices are approved but later found defective. When defective medical devicesbecome known, the FDA issues a recall. If the danger is small, the recall may not reach the ears of consumers. But if the danger is more serious, the recall may reach retailers and patients. These recalls can be especially invasive if the device is inside a patient's body.

If a recall occurs, patients should talk with three sets of professionals -- their doctor, their insurance company and an attorney. A doctor will give you a medical opinion, the insurance company will tell you how much coverage they have and an attorney will give them an idea about the pros and cons of pursuing a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Texans interested in shedding more light on the third leg of the process following a medical-device recall may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced medical-device attorney. Doing so could shed important light on their options going forward.

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