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The medical devices that are created to help patients sometimes end up making their health issues worse or even causing death. West Virginia patients may be impacted by the recent recall of the guide wires used in a medical device known as the Rotablator. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about these defective medical devices, which have also been voluntarily recalled by their manufacturer.

The Rotablator is an artery-clearing tool. The system is used to open arteries that are narrow in order to enhance the flow of blood to a patient’s heart. This happens through the cutting of plaque from the wall of the artery. However, officials said the use of this tool recently led to the death of one patient. The patient died a few days after a piece of guide wire broke off of one of the device’s components and perforated the patient’s vessel.

Two other individuals were also hurt when the device’s parts broke while the device was being used. In some cases involving wire fracture, doctors were required to perform emergency surgeries in efforts to remove the pieces of wire. In one case, doctors were unable to successfully remove the wire remnants. About 600 devices, manufactured by Boston Scientific, were on the market in the United States.

People who are hurt by defective medical devices in West Virginia have the right to seek compensation through civil lawsuits. No amount of money can undo the harm caused by these types of devices. However, a financial award may help the victims to cover the costs of required medical treatments and other losses stemming from the use of these devices.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Boston Scientific device recalled after patient dies“, Beth Healy, Nov. 27, 2015