Are doctors liable for defective medical devices?

Most people in North Carolina and across the country place a lot of trust in their doctors. When patients have a procedure like a hip replacement, they expect that they can trust the professional performing the surgery. If things don’t go according to plan and the device fails, they may want to hold their surgeon or primary care doctor accountable. However, it doesn’t work quite that way. If a medical device is defective, it’s generally the manufacturer who is liable.

Liability for defective medical devices

Medical devices go through a series of tests before being approved. They include three classes of products. Class I devices include materials like elastic bandages and bedpans. Many of them are exempt from regulation. Class II devices make up the majority of the classification. These include some wheelchairs as well as things like pregnancy tests.

Class III devices make up a small percentage overall, but these are the devices that are involved in serious procedures to relieve pain or sustain life. Examples of Class III medical devices include hip replacements, IVC filters and pacemakers. When these devices fail, it can be catastrophic.

Sometimes, a poorly designed medical device arrives on the market. Metal-on-metal hip replacements and pelvic mesh have proven problematic for many patients who use them. Errors during the design or manufacturing process are often to blame. Medical devices must be made with real care, and their manufacturers often have medical providers on staff. These companies have a duty of care to the patients who will use them.

Holding manufacturers responsible

If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective medical device, you may want to consider seeking legal help. Attorneys who have experience with medical malpractice cases may be able to assist in holding the manufacturer accountable. Legal professionals understand how the process should work and what constitutes negligence.

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