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West Virginia patients may be impacted by a recall recently issued by Cook Medical. This medical device maker produces a wide range of items, ranging from incubators to needles. However, during the last 18 months, Cook Medical has issued four different recalls involving over 100,000 devices, with the company’s defective medical devices having the potential to lead to serious health problems.

Several of the recalls that have been issued have been tied to customer complaints and have required medical intervention. The most recent recall occurred in early February, when Cook Medical recalled more than 17,800 venous catheters as well as pressure monitoring sets/trays. These devices were recalled from more than 300 lots because the catheter tips may fracture or separate. These products are utilized in arterial or venous pressure monitoring, the administration of fluids and drugs, and blood sampling.

The recent problem was discovered during a company inspection and was traced to a product assembler’s technique. There have been no injury or illness reports in connection with the defective products. However, a catheter tip that is separated has the potential to block the flow of blood to organs and thus lead to stroke, intestinal or limb damage, or kidney injury.

When patients in West Virginia are harmed by defective medical devices, they have the right to take legal action against the device manufacturers. They may file product liability claims, seeking damages. Competent proof of negligence is required to establish financial responsibility in a way that satisfies the civil court; only when this happens will claims for damages be adjudicated.

Source: ibj.com, “Cook Medical issues fourth recall in 18 months“, John Russell, Feb. 15, 2016