St. Jude Medical has recalled two types of its medical defibrillators after patients died as a result of malfunctioning batteries. The FDA has identified this as a Class 1 recall, the most serious type of recall there is. Use of a defective St. Jude defibrillator can cause serious injury and even death.
The Federal Drug Administration issued a warning on October 11, 2016, saying that nearly 400,000 of St. Jude’s cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators contain rapidly depleting batteries.
The Trouble With St. Jude Defibrillators
Defibrillators, also called “pacemakers”, are small devices that are implanted in the patient’s chest or abdomen to assist in maintaining a regular heartbeat. Defibrillators are driven by batteries and are designed to warn the user of battery problems or potential battery failure far in advance. Unfortunately, some defibrillator models made by St. Jude Medical are prone to short-circuiting.
Normally, the defibrillator warns the user 3 months before the batteries are expected to die with a vibration in the user’s chest. But, some devices have been alerting patient just weeks or even days before the batteries run out. This leaves the user with little to no time to get the medical treatment necessary to prevent serious health complications.
Roughly 400,000 defibrillators with this defective battery design were produced by St. Jude Medical. This design can leave the user at risk of having their pacemakers short-circuit which will eventually cause the batteries to fail prematurely. If these batteries fail, the defibrillator will not be able to produce a life-saving shock to the user’s heart when it is needed. This, again, can result in serious health complications or even death.
Signs and symptoms of a short-circuited defibrillator include things like:
- Chest pain;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Fainting; and/or
- Dizzy spells.
St. Jude Medical reports that the vast majority of its defibrillators have not experienced premature battery depletion, but advises patient with defibrillators manufactured before May 2015 to contact their doctor immediately after feeling a vibration from their device to ensure quick battery replacement.
Contact An Experienced Medical Devices Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered health complications due to a defective St. Jude defibrillator, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced medical device lawyer for a free consultation or contact us online for more information. The law limits the amount of time you have to make a claim, so contact us today.