What is a Medtronic Defibrillator?
On October 15, 2007 Medtronic, the manufacturer of the implantable defibrillator, announced it was suspending sales of the Sprint Fidelis lead. According the company, the Sprint Fidelis led is a wire that connects the Medtronic Defibrillator to the heart. Medtronic says the wire could fracture inside a patient’s blood vessel, delivering a massive electrical jolt. This jolt has the ability to cause extreme amount of pain and discomfort, and in serious situations can be fatal. There have been at least 5 deaths linked to malfunctioning Sprint Fidelis lead inside of the Medtronic Defibrillator.
Medtronic has used the Sprint Fidelis lead in the defibrillator since 2004, and nearly everybody who has purchased or received the device since that time is at risk. The lead was used only in cardiac defibrillators, and patients with congestive heart failure are the ones at risk, as the Sprint Fidelis lead was used in these devices.
According to Medtronic’s own estimate around 2.3% of patients will have the lead fracture inside of their blood vessels, roughly 4,000-5,000 people, within the first 30 months of having the Medtronic Defibrillator implanted. Those patients that do suffer a fracture will have to undergo a dangerous surgical procedure to replace the wire.
There are three possible outcomes for those who experience a fracture. First, the defibrillator may beep alerting the patient to seek immediate medical attention. The second possibility is the fracture can create a massive electrical shock causing the patient to experience extreme and sudden chest pain. The final, and most deadly possibility, is that the fracture will lead to the battery of the Medtronic Defibrillator being depleted. If this occurs, the life-saving shock the device was created to administer will not go off and is most likely fatal to the patient.
Medtronic Defibrillator Side Effects
While these are not directly side effects, issues that can occur due to a lead fracture include;
- Extreme and Sudden Chest Pain
- Risky/Invasive Future Surgery to Replace/Update the Device
Medtronic Defibrillator Litigation
There are significant risks that come along with a fractured Medtronic Defibrillator, if you believe you or a loved one are at risk we urge you to seek immediate medical attention. After seeking the advice of a medical professional we also suggest you explore your legal options.
At Sheff Law, we are the Massachusetts law firm with the resources, experience, and national reputation to investigate injuries resulting from exposure to the Medtronic Defibrillator. Patients across Massachusetts and America are starting to realize some of the potential harmful consequences due to fractures of the Sprint Fidelis lead in the Medtronic Defibrillator. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the Medtronic Defibrillator, contact an attorney at Sheff Law today by filling out a FREE consultation form, or call at (888) 423-4477 or 617-227-7000
February 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Blog