Faulty Defibrillator Claim *
A defibrillator is used by application of an electronic current to the chest wall or heart. It delivers a dose of electronic current to the heart. Defibrillation is a treatment which is used for life-threatening cardiac circumstances. When a defibrillator is used it causes the heart to stop in order for it to start beating rhythmically again. These products are used by large numbers of people every day and can greatly improve the quality of life of the patient being treated. A fault or defect in these products can cause their condition to become worse and in some cases can lead to a fatality. If a defibrillator is faulty it can have serious consequences for the patient who is in need of treatment. Although most defibrillators work correctly there are some small cases where the product may be faulty. This would be seen as one of the most serious defective product claims. In recent years there have been some products recalls on defibrillators. These claims are often made where the defibrillator has failed to regulate a patient’s heartbeat or where the batteries have depleted rapidly causing the medical equipment to run out of power, being unable to provide the necessary treatment. Claims made for defective defibrillators are made as a faulty or defective product claim * as they did not do the job which they are supposed to do.
Failing to ensure that a defibrillator is working correctly can result in an illness becoming worse over time. This can create a potentially high risk of heath deterioration. As defibrillation is used at a time when a patient is already vulnerable and unwell it can cause their quality of life to decrease at a quicker rate.
It is important to note that there are two types of defibrillator, internal and external. External defibrillators are used in emergency situations where there is an urgent need for immediate medical attention. Internal defibrillators are more commonly associated with defective product claims. Also known as cardioverter defibrillators or ICDs, they are inserted into the wall of the chest of the patient and are operated on batteries.
Who is Liable?
An important part of the claims process * is determining who is liable for any injuries or illnesses which have been sustained. In most cases where a defibrillator has been found to be faulty, it will be the manufacturer of the product who is seen as liable. They are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe to use and will not create any issues. Failing to do so can result in a number of defects which can lead to the product not working the way which it is supposed to. In some cases, the medical practitioner who carried out defibrillation treatment on you may be seen as liable. If they knew that there was a fault with the product and continued to use it then this is a form of medical or clinical negligence * . Failing to ensure that the product was safe to use could lead to them being seen as liable.
Common Injuries caused by Defective Defibrillators
- Deterioration of medical condition
- Pain and Discomfort
- Electric Shock
- Heart Contusions
Causes of Defective Defibrillators
Manufacturing defects usually arise as a result of defective components or materials which are used during the manufacturing stages of defibrillator production. A common cause of this is poor workmanship or using cheaply produced materials which may not be of a high quality. In these cases, the producer of the product is seen as liable for failing to ensure that they use materials which are safe for medical treatment. Medical device product liability is something that the manufacturer should take responsibility for so as to ensure that injuries will not be sustained as a result of using their products.
Even if the defibrillator is correctly manufactured, flaws in design can create problems when the product is used. A design defect is an issue with the overall design of the product which can make them unsafe and dangerous to use. This could result in the defibrillator being unsafe for intended use. If a manufacturer was aware of a design flaw prior to production and did not take reasonable steps to fix the issue then it is very likely that they will be seen as liable for any injuries which are sustained as a result of this.
This defect is commonly associated with failing to make people aware of any known hazards or dangers which are associated with the product. All retailers and manufacturers have a duty of care to ensure that all consumers are notified of any risks associated with a particular product. As defibrillators are generally not purchased by members of the public it is important that this information is passed onto them through the medical practitioner who is treating them.
Incorrect use of Defibrillator
Using a defibrillator in the incorrect way can create issues and injuries to the patient. If the medical practitioner who is treating you is not fully trained and aware how to correctly use the equipment, the risk of an injury being sustained becomes higher. This is more commonly associated with medical negligence as the practitioner failed to provide you with a high standard of care.
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