A Message to Our Clients About COVID-19Read More »

Call today for a consultation

618-277-3644

Legal Blog

Defibrillator Malfunction Causes Patient Fatalities

Published: Apr 24, 2019 in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Product Liability

St. Clair County medical malpractice lawyers help victims of defective medical equipment.Stryker has recalled over 13,000 Lifepak 15 monitors/defibrillator units amid 58 complaints and reports of six fatalities associated with malfunctioning equipment. The defibrillator machine delivers an electronic shock to the heart during a cardiac emergency. The malfunction of the Lifepak 15 defibrillators delays the continuation of shock therapy when the unit locks up after the initial discharge.

Stryker initiated the voluntary recall of the Lifepak 15 defibrillators in February. Customers were contacted by the company with instructions to schedule a correction to their equipment. The correction will include updates to the firmware for a component on the circuit board assembly, which is expected to fix the reported malfunctions. All updates are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.

Any problems with implementation of the defibrillator units should be immediately reported to the company. If the unit locks up while being used in an emergency, customers are instructed to do the following:

 Press and hold the ON button until the LED indicator turns off
 Press the ON button to restart the unit
 If the device does not turn off in step one, remove both batteries and disconnect the device from the power adaptor
 Reinsert the batteries and reconnect the power adapter
 Press ON to activate the device

Though Stryker’s recall will help prevent future malfunctions, it comes too late for those that have suffered death as a result of the defective equipment. Several medical malpractice lawsuits against Stryker have been filed by the families of those victims.

Defibrillators Save Lives

Automatic defibrillator devices have become standard equipment available in most places of employment, schools, and public places over the past decade. Many people believe a defibrillator restarts a stopped heart, but this is untrue. In fact, a defibrillator is used to stop an erratic heartbeat. Ventricular fibrillation is a medical term used to describe abnormal heart rhythms that can be fatal. A defibrillator device delivers an electronic shock that restores the heart to a normal rhythm.

The availability of defibrillator machines designed for use by the general public has saved countless lives in recent years. Each public access defibrillator has voice and written directives included that walk the first responder through using the device. Quick action and use of a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death for those experiencing a cardiac emergency.

When defective medical equipment malfunctions, the results are often catastrophic. Blood flow and oxygen are compromised during a cardiac event, which can lead to serious complications and death. When this happens, the family of the victim may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can ensure that victims claim the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.

St. Clair County Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Cates Mahoney, LLC Help Victims of Defective Medical Equipment Claim Compensation

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective medical device, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the St. Clair County medical malpractice lawyers at Cates Mahoney, LLC at 618-277-3644, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.