Medtronic (MDT) is warning doctors and patients to look at the company’s latest "defibrillator models because it was prone to a defect that has caused malfunctions in hundreds of patients and may have contributed to five deaths." The defect is tied to a wire between the device and the heart itself and may effect 235,000 patients according to The New York Times.
The news gets worse from there. "Replacing leads on a heart device like a defibrillator is considered by experts to be far more dangerous than replacing the device itself," the NYT writes.
So, that leaves patients and doctors between a rock and a hard place. Someone with the device can wait for the wire to fail and have surgery, or they can have the risky surgery first.
Liability class action attorneys will be having a look at this one.
Douglas A. McIntyre