Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Getting a Medical Device
Medical devices, such as artificial implants, can be a godsend. They can offer a permanent solution to a problem you’ve dealt with either chronically or following a specific injury or illness. Medical devices can, however, be extremely dangerous. Medical device manufacturers are not always the most forthcoming about the risks and downsides of using their products. Before you agree to use a medical device suggested by your physician, make sure to have a long and open conversation about the device, the potential risks, and their experience with patients utilizing the device. Below, we offer a few questions to get your conversation with your doctor started. If you’ve been hurt because of a defective medical device in California, reach out to a knowledgeable California medical device defect attorney at the Morris Law Firm for help with a potential products liability claim.
What Are the Known Risks and Side Effects?
Every medical procedure, and every medical device, carries risks. Sometimes the risks are very remote–0.01 percent of people experience some symptom–while in other cases, the side effects are known and common but not severe enough to stop using the device–such as medication that causes nausea or dizziness. Talk to your doctor about the known risks and side effects of the medical device, the likelihood of those side effects manifesting, and what you can do to deal with those side effects. You might find the risks too great, or the known complications too unpleasant, to justify using the device.
What Is Your Experience With the Long-Term Effects of the Procedure or Device?
Ask your doctor what to expect in the long-term when relying on this device. Do patients eventually find they no longer need the device? Do most patients need a replacement device down the line? What will that procedure be like, and how much would it cost? Does insurance cover future adjustments or replacements? Do patients find that, down the line, they no longer complain of the pain, weakness, or other symptoms that led to the use of the device in the first place? If your doctor is very positive about the results from their own experience, the device might be worth using.
Have These Devices or Similar Devices Previously Been Recalled?
Many medical devices are the subject of recalls by the manufacturer or as mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sometimes, specific medical devices or specific brands are recalled; other times, an entire category of product is subject to a recall. Metal-on-metal hip implant devices, for example, were recalled en masse because of side effects and complications discovered years after implantation. Before you agree to have a device implanted, ask your doctor if the device, the brand, or similar devices have ever been subject to recalls, what the recall was about, and whether this device carries a similar risk. The FDA maintains a database of recalled medical devices; make sure to look out for yours.
Is This Device Necessary?
Medical devices, especially implants like artificial hips, carry risks. Even the best devices can wear out, become dislodged, and cause problems over time. Many devices are later discovered to have previously undisclosed risks the manufacturer either knew about and buried or failed to discover in testing. Before you agree to have a permanent medical device implanted into your body, make sure it is necessary. Ask your doctor if there are less invasive alternative treatments that can solve your issue.
Morris Law Firm Is Ready to Help With Your Defective Medical Device Claim in California or Nationwide
If you have been injured in Southern California or anywhere in the country by a defective medical device or other consumer product, call a successful product defect attorney today at the Morris Law Firm. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you deserve if you have been seriously injured by a recalled medical device or other defective product.