Medical Devices

If the FDA recalls pills, a patient can at least stop taking them immediately. With implanted devices, patients are sort of stuck, at least for a while — and that's if surgeons can even safely remove them.- Michael Matheny

Medical Devices

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Why Medical Devices Aren’t Safer

Things sometimes go wrong with airbags, food and drugs, prompting recalls. It can also happen with medical devices, though you’d think lifesaving devices like heart defibrillators or artificial hips would be closely monitored.

But the data needed to systematically and rapidly identify dangerous medical devices are not routinely collected in the United States. It wouldn’t be that hard to do.

Problems with medical devices are not infrequent. Defibrillators implanted in nearly 200,000 patients were recalled in 2011 because of a faulty part. More recently, the Essure birth control device implanted in women’s fallopian tubes has been associated with pain and deaths. Improper handling…

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Last Updated : Friday, November 13, 2020