The Automatic External Defibrillators Are Allegedly Failing During Patient Treatment.
A recent alert was issued regarding the Physio-Control LIFEPAK 1000 Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) that includes all LIFEPAK 1000 Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) due to the AED’s risk of unexpectedly shutting down during patient treatment. This may lead to potential failure of therapy delivery, according to a May 18, 2017 report byUK.gov. The LIFEPAL 1000 AED device is manufactured in the Netherlands by Physio-Control.
The alert was issued due to risks of unexpected device shutdown, a result of an intermittent connection issue that takes place between the device’s contacts and the battery, according to UK.gov.
Healthcare facilities have been advised by UK.gov to identify all LIFEPAK 1000 AEDs in their possession and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on Physio-Control’s Field Safety Notice. The LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator may be found in hospitals, as well as in public locations such as restaurants and airports. The manufacturer’s logo on the front cover of the device may either display “Medtronic” or “Physio-Control.”
As of May 2017, Physio-Control has received 34 reports of incidents in which consumers attempted to use their LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator and the device experienced an unexpected shutdown during patient treatment, according to UK.gov. When the device unexpectedly shuts down, the event is caused by an intermittent connection that takes place between the device’s battery and its device contacts. When this happens, the defibrillator may not be able to provide needed therapy during an attempt at resuscitation. This may subject patients to danger of significant harm or death. Physio-Control indicates that it is aware of eight adverse events relating to this particular issue.
Physio-Control pointed out that the intermittent connection occurs due to wear and ensuing oxidation that forms between the battery and the device’s electrical contacts. This has been seen in devices that have been exposed to vibration and in devices that have had a battery installed for an extended period of time without having been removed from the LIFEPAK 1000 for inspection and reinstallation. The LIFEPAK 1000 Defibrillator Operating Instructions direct users to inspect the battery carefully and to routinely inspect battery contacts, both as part of the device’s regular maintenance and testing schedule.
Consumers are advised as well that, should a device power off unexpectedly, either during inspection or during patient treatment, the battery should be immediately removed and reinstalled so that power may be restored to the device. If power does not return, the battery should be replaced with a spare battery and Physio-Control should be immediately contacted to arrange for device servicing.
Parker Waichman LLP has spent decades representing clients in medical device injury lawsuits. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a defective Physio-Control’s LIFEPAK 1000 AED injury lawsuit.
What is an AED Device?
Sudden cardiac arrest is among the key leading causes of death in the United States, according to Redcross.org. Over 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest in 2017 and sudden cardiac arrest may affect anyone, anywhere, at any time, and at any age. The Redcrosss.org points out that an AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is also easy to operate, even for someone with no medical background.
When a cardiac emergency occurs, according to Redcross.org, the typical response time for first responders once a 911 emergency call is made is eight to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, for every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the likelihood of survival is reduced by about 10 percent. According to Redcross.org, the 2010 consensus for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) agrees that sudden cardiac arrest may be treated best by a combination of CPR and defibrillation.
An AED is a medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm and, when necessary, delivers a defibrillation (an electrical shock), which assists in helping the heart re-establish an effective rhythm, the RedCross.org explained. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes an AED as a lightweight, battery-operated, portable device that checks the heart’s rhythm and will send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore the heart to a normal rhythm. AEDs provide a voice prompt to advise if and when a shock should be sent to the heart. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest, which is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this occurs, the blood stops flowing to the body’s vital organs, including the brain.
If not treated within minutes, sudden cardiac arrest typically leads to death. Some 95 percent of individuals who have sudden cardiac arrest die, many within minutes. Immediately using an AED on a person who is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest may save that person’s life, according to the NIH.
The human heart contains an internal electrical system. This system controls the heart’s rate and the heartbeat’s rhythm. With every heartbeat, an electrical signal is spread from the top of the heart to the bottom of the heart. As this signal travels, the heart contracts and pumps the blood. With every new heartbeat, this process repeats. When problems occur in the electrical system, abnormal heart rhythms known as arrhythmias occur, which may cause the heart to beat too rapidly, too slowly, or irregularly. Some arrhythmias may cause the heart to cease pumping blood to the body. It is these arrhythmias that lead to sudden cardiac arrest, the NIH explained.
The most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest is an arrhythmia known as ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). In v-fib, the ventricles, which are the lower chambers of the heart, beat abnormally, quivering rapidly and irregularly. Another arrhythmia type that may lead to sudden cardiac arrest is known as ventricular tachycardia. When this occurs the ventricles beat rapidly and regularly for either just a few seconds or for much longer.
In people diagnosed with either of these arrhythmias, an electric shock from an AED may restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Conducting CPR on an individual undergoing SCA may improve that person’s chance of survival. Should some be undergoing a cardiac emergency, treatment with a defective AED may hasten their likelihood of dying.
Filing a Physio-Control LIFEPAK 1000 AED Device Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit over a defective Physio-Control LIFEPAK 1000 AED, contact Parker Waichman today. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).