Medtronic Defibrillator

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The Medtronic Defibrillator is a surgically implanted defibrillator used in the management of patients suffering from any form of heart disease resulting in heart arrhythmia.  The device, under ideal conditions, would deliver the required electrical shock to reestablish regular heartbeat patterns in patients.  In 2007, the maker of the Medtronic Defibrillator, Medtronic Inc., warned patients and medical professionals of the risks associated with the device fracturing from the heart itself.  The main model part embroiled in the warning is the “sprint fidelis” electrical wire, which has since been suspended.  However, since inception, the malfunctioning “sprint fidelis” wire or lead has been placed on the hearts of an estimate two hundred and sixty-eight thousand patients. 

Risks and Symptoms of Medtronic Defibrillator

Those patients possessing Medtronic Defibrillators containing the Sprint Fidelis lead are at grave risk for complications.  These complications and risks include failure to electronically shock properly, inappropriate alerts, and administering unneeded shocks.  In total, an estimated two hundred and sixty eight thousand patients had these wires installed in their body, and the Medtronic Defibrillator has been linked to over five deaths.  The inherent complication associated with the malfunctioning wire lead is that it is currently placed on the heart of a patient, therefore, removal or replacement will require extensive surgery on patients already suffering from pulmonary disorders, which simply outweighs the risks of allowing the device to remain in patients. 

Medtronic Defibrillator Claims and Lawsuits

In the past, Medtronic, Inc. has faced individual claims and suits from patients currently wearing the fractured leads in their pacemakers.  The company, in response to the legal action, requested dismissal of legal action against the company due to the tacit FDA approval of the devices, including allowing them to remain in patients in lieu of the dangers of surgery.  However, a federal claims court rejected this motion in late 2006.  The dismissal, which is said to likely be appealed by Medtronic, Inc., currently opens the path for future product liability claims against the company, including individual claims, as well as class action claims if appropriate.

Legal Help from a Lawyer

If you currently have a Medtronic Defibrillator placed on your heart, there is a very real possibility that one of the integral components facilitating shocks to the heart from the device may be broken.  The fractured “sprint fidelis” lead has been linked to five deaths in patients thus far.  An attorney can assist you ensuring your health is protected while wearing the defibrillator by keeping you abreast in all legal developments and other claims made by similar patients.  Additionally, an attorney, in conjunction with your doctors, can collect the requisite amount of medical documentation and other evidence needed to pursue legal claims in the future against the company, should damages occur.  Otherwise, an attorney will work to ensure that replacement of the device, if sensible given the risks of surgery, is covered by liable parties.