What Are Spinal Cord Stimulators?
Spinal cord stimulation devices were touted to be technological breakthroughs that could help patients with chronic pain or mild debilitation. Some medical device manufacturers even claim spinal cord stimulators can curb a patient’s opioid addiction by replacing opiates with device simulation. The devices are surgically implanted against a patient’s spine, where they can deliver electric shocks directly to the nervous system. The idea is the device can stimulate nerves and block chronic pain signals sent by the spine before they can reach the brain and cause pain.
However, recent reports have shed a light on the real dangers of spinal cord stimulators. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 80,000 reports of defective and dangerous spinal cord stimulators have been filed in the last 10 years. The number amounts to nearly 22 reports a day for a decade and places the devices as the “third most dangerous” device, behind hip replacement devices and insulin pumps.
Injuries patients have suffered due to defective spinal cord stimulation devices include:
- Severe burns
- Strong electric shocks
- Spinal cord damage
- Insomnia due to incessant shocks
Why Are Spinal Cord Stimulators On the Market?
A large-scale investigative report arranged in part by the Associated Press and NBC News found that spinal cord stimulation devices may have been cited in fewer injury reports than insulin pumps and hip replacement devices, but the number is disproportionate. There are many times more pumps and hip replacements than spinal cord stimulators in the United States. The overall percentage of defective stimulators compared to apparently functional stimulators is inordinately high, then.
Why would spinal cord stimulators be sold and used by so many medical providers if the rate of device failure is so high? The answer may lie in the FDA’s own lax process for reviewing medical devices. According to statements from the FDA, it had been using decades-old procedures to determine the safety of medical devices, potentially allowing thousands of harmful devices to get FDA approval. In light of the dangers of spinal cord stimulators and other recent hazardous devices, the organization has vowed to revamp and improve its process.
(Get more information about spinal cord stimulator dangers and the FDA’s promise to improve its review process by clicking here and viewing a full news article from NBC.)
Seeking Compensation from Spinal Cord Stimulator Manufacturers
People who have been seriously injured or disabled by a defective spinal cord stimulation device have the right to seek compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Berthold Law Firm, PLLC is steadfast in our representation of the wrongfully injured. Our attorneys are not afraid to stand up to Big Pharma companies, medical device manufacturers, and nationwide insurance groups, especially when we know so much is on the line for our clients.