Medical patients remain incredibly vulnerable to the poor decisions of their medical providers. Patients are reasonable in relying on the choices and decisions made by their doctors and nurses, so that if those choices are not up to the standard of a reasonable medical professional, the patient often remains unaware. In our area the root of most Illinois medical malpractice cases are found in just this sort of violation of trust between medical provider and vulnerable patient.
Similarly, medical patient are usually totally reliant on the quality and safety of medical devices, supplies, and equipment that are used in their medical care. Virtually no patient has the expertise to understand when medical supplies are defective or used incorrectly. That is why it is important for the legal system to remain open to help these unsuspecting victims of misuse of these devices to recover for their losses.
For example, last month the Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert which reported on the serious complications associated with the transvaginal placement of surgical mesh to treat certain conditions. This mesh is a medical device that is occasionally used to repair damaged tissue. It is made from unique material that comes in both absorbable and non-absorbable formats. For urogynecologic proceures the mesh is frequently used in permanently reinforce weakend vaginal walls in two contexts: to repair pelvic organ prolapsed or to support the urethra while treating urinary incontinence.
Unfortunately there have been many concerns about the potentially defective medical device and medical misuse of it. Specifically, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported on serious complications that thousands of patients may have experienced as a result of this mesh use. The FDA specifically urged all involved professionals that complications from use of this mesh was not rare. Many problems have resulted from the use of this product, most notably the mesh can erode through the vagina resulting in pain, infection, bleeding, organ perforation, and urinary problems.
Problems related to this surgical mesh arose as early as 2008, and complications have continued to be reported since that time. Research has found that use of the mesh has shown no better results than alternative treatments for these problems that do not rely on transvaginal mesh placement. In addition, these alternative options were show not to expose patients to the myriad of risks associated with the mesh product.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that there are various legal issues involved with these medical alerts. On one hand there may be a products liability issue relate to the faulty manufacture of these mesh products. If the medical device is defective the victims of the complications generally have a legal right to recover for their losses. In addition, there may also be a medical malpractice component to the case related to the reasonableness of the conduct of the doctors who continued to use this product on their unsuspecting patients. Both legal theories are premised at least in part of the vulnerability of patients who are forced to rely upon the decisions of others when it comes to their care. When those other parties cause harm or fail to act prudently then legal consequences accrue.
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