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What Causes Medical Devices to Become Defective?

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You have likely heard about numerous cases involving defective medical products, such as hip replacements, heart valves, breast implants, contraceptives and monitoring equipment. Millions of Americans regularly use these types of products, and when defects arise, they can range in severity from being minor inconveniences to life-threatening dangers.

But what exactly causes these products to become defective in the first place?

In most cases, medical products become defective because of manufacturing or design errors. If it was a manufacturing error, a part of the manufacturing process could be poorly performed, which creates a defect in either a small number of products or the entire batch. If it was a design error, it’s more likely that larger numbers of the product are affected by the defect — as many products using that same design went to the manufacturing phase.

For a specific example, let’s take a look at DePuy hip implants. Several years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning about the use of these types of hip implants, specifically because they were designed with metal-on-metal components. It was found that over time, the metal pieces grating against each other would degrade the condition of the hip implant and make injuries more likely. Additionally, the tiny metal scrapings could seep into the user’s bloodstream and cause significant illnesses and health risks.

If you believe that a medical product you have been prescribed is somehow defective, work with the North Carolina product liability attorneys at Lanier Law Group to fully explore your legal options.

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