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Number of recalls of defective medical devices has dropped

Recalls of medical devices throughout the United States, including in West Virginia, recently dropped to the lowest number since 2013. In the first quarter of 2016, the number of recalled defective medical devices fell by about 30 percent from the quarterly average over a two-year period. It is challenging to pinpoint exactly why recall activity might be lower in some quarters versus others.

One possible reason for the lower number of recalls recently is that regulators and manufacturers of medical devices are concentrating on safeguarding the public. Stakeholders are regularly searching for creative ways of collaborating and improving the safety and quality of today's medical devices. However, mistakes do happen and are inevitable.

Most of the recalls during 2016's first quarter, more than 62 percent, were because of machine failure. Other reasons that recalls have occurred recently include quality problems, calibration errors and sterility problems. A small percentage of recalls, almost 4 percent, had to do with software problems.

Defective medical devices can easily cause people in the state of West Virginia to suffer serious injuries or even lose their lives. People who are hurt because of these devices have the right to file personal injury claims, seeking the reimbursement of financial damages sustained as a result of the use of these devices. Meanwhile, the surviving loved ones of those who have lost their lives after using these devices may elect to file wrongful death claims. A damage award may help to cover medical costs, burial expenses and other financial losses tied to the use of the dangerous devices.

Source:, "What's Behind the Decline in Device Recalls?", Marie Thibault, May 18, 2016

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