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Defective medical devices have killed 5 so far

How many Kentucky residents have gone to extremes to lose weight? Many more have trusted their doctors to provide them with a safe treatment to help them on their journeys. If unsuspecting patients receive (and perhaps unsuspecting doctors use) defective medical devices, the quest to lose weight could turn deadly.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration reported that five people have lost their lives since 2016 after having balloons placed in their stomachs as a weight loss treatment. One of the victims was using the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System. The other four were all using the same system -- the Orbera Intragastric Balloon System.

Within one to three days of having the balloons placed, three of the victims died. The other two died less than a month of the devices being implanted. The FDA also knows of two other deaths (each using a device from each company listed above) that are not yet confirmed to be attributed to these devices. In February, the FDA recommended that doctors monitor patients using these devices for spontaneous over-inflation and acute pancreatitis. So far, neither company has reported any product liability claims in connection with their products.

That could change, however. As the news of these potentially defective medical devices spreads, more families may realize that significant health issues, injuries and deaths could be linked to them. Sadly, many Kentucky residents do not receive notices regarding issues with the medical devices they have implanted in their bodies before they suffer injuries from them. Taking legal action for those injuries may help ensure that another family knows about a defect before it becomes an issue, while providing restitution for financial losses associated with the product.

Source: CNN, "5 deaths reported while using weight loss balloon treatment, FDA says," Madison Park, Aug. 11, 2017

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