Medtronic Defibrillators

The Nature of the Device: A defibrillator delivers an electric shock to the heart to prevent it from beating too fast. Medtronic Company makes an implantable defibrillator that a surgeon inserts in the chest near the shoulder. A thin lead consisting of an electrical wire runs through a vein to connect the defibrillator to the heart. Several kinds of leads exist, and the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis which was introduced in 2004, is one such lead; it was designed to be easy to insert.

The Hazards of the Medtronic Defibrillator: A fractured or broken lead can deliver inaccurate data on heart activity to the defibrillator, causing the device to send unnecessary electric shocks to the heart. A fractured lead can also make the defibrillator’s battery run down prematurely, so that the device cannot deliver a shock when one is needed.

Surgery is necessary to remove a fractured lead or to replace a dead battery, carrying with it the usual risks of surgery, such as infection and other complications.

Fractured Sprint Fidelis leads led to many serious injuries and several deaths, and as a result, there was a worldwide recall of the product.
Problems with the leads also caused lawsuits against Medtronic to be filed across the country. The company stopped making the Sprint Fidelis lead in 2007, and in 2010, it reached a $268 million litigation settlement with victims of the device.

But the litigation is not over. That is because today, anyone who received a Medtronic defibrillator after 2004 and is still using it, could have a defective Sprint Fidelis lead inside her. The product can still injure users.

To Obtain Legal Relief: People who have been harmed by a Medtronic defibrillator lead may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.