FDA safety scandal: 50K hidden reports of heart device malfunctioning

The Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md.

Enlarge / The Food and
Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. (credit:

GettyCongressional Quarterly
)

The Food and Drug Administration allowed the maker of a faulty
implantable heart device to
secretly log 50,000 malfunction incidents
, according to a
series of investigations by Kaiser Health News.

The device—the Sprint Fidelis, made by Medtronic—consists of
a pair of wires and a defibrillator to jolt the heart into a
regular rhythm. But doctors found that it was giving patients
random, harmful zaps and sometimes failed during actual cardiac
emergencies.

Medtronic recalled the device in 2007 but only after it was
implanted in around 268,000 patients. Many of those patients have
since faced the ghastly choice of learning to live with the faulty
device or undergoing an invasive, risky—sometimes
deadly—surgery to remove it. According to the KHN investigation,
they’ve been making that choice without information from the
50,000 incident reports.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
FDA safety scandal: 50K hidden reports of heart device malfunctioning