Medical Malpractice Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Pacemaker Injuries throughout Chicago
All medical procedures carry risk, especially those procedures involving the human heart. Most complications from cardiac procedures do not result in medical malpractice lawsuits. However, there are instances where a pacemaker injury occurs that is the result of negligence. When negligence plays a role in a patient’s injury or death, the physician, pacemaker manufacturer, or another party may be held liable.
How Pacemaker Implants are Designed to Work
Pacemakers are inserted surgically. These small electronic devices are implanted in the patient’s chest near the heart to help regulate the patient’s heartbeat. Usually, the device is placed below the clavicle. Then, wired leads are run through the body into the heart.
A pacemaker is installed on a patient with an irregular heartbeat. When the device notices the heart is out of rhythm, it sends gentle electrical currents to the heart to correct it.
These devices are used for multiple cardiac conditions, including slow heartbeats, too fast or too slow heartbeat, or when the electrical signals to the heart are interrupted. Most of these conditions are treated successfully with pacemaker implantation.
Common Risks with Pacemakers
There are common risks associated with pacemaker implantations that are not negligence. Instead, these risks are conveyed to the patient prior to the procedure, and the physician obtains consent from the patient. This signals that the patient understands the risks associated with the procedure and agrees to take on those risks.
Some common complications associated with the implantation include infection, bleeding, nerve complications, pneumothorax, and a risk for lung puncture. These complications can develop without malpractice.
When Pacemaker Complications are Negligence-Based
There are instances where a pacemaker malfunction may be an issue of malpractice. In these cases, there are several common types of lawsuits:
- Physician Negligence: In this case, the surgeon or physician that implanted the device was negligent. They may have implanted the pacemaker incorrectly, punctured a lung, or injured the patient during a breach of the standard of care. In this case, the physician as well as the hospital may be held liable for injuries the patient encounters.
- Product Liability: Often, pacemaker failures and complications are a manufacturing issue. Whether it is a set of faulty leads or the device itself is flawed, this issue falls on the manufacturer as well as the third parties involved in constructing the device. In some cases, the physician and hospital will also be liable for the product liability suit. Physicians and hospitals often know which brands are prone to malfunction. Therefore, if they used one that has a history of failure, they could be considered negligent for implanting the device.
Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury due to a malfunctioning pacemaker or because of improper implantation, you could qualify for compensation. Speak with a personal injury attorney first to explore your options and have your case assessed for free.