Research Reveals Faulty Pacemakers And Defibrillators May Cause 2,000 Deaths A Year

Product Liability Experts Call For Thorough Review Of Medical Devices


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

New research conducted at the University of San Francisco revealed that faulty pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators may be to blame for up to 2,000 deaths in the UK.

Researchers examined 516 patients who suffered a sudden death in the study, with 30 per cent of cases being linked to mechanical issues with the devices.

Around 14,000 patients fitted with a pacemaker or ICD die in the UK every year. Around 50 per cent of these deaths are sudden and in patients who have been in good health, which means faulty implants may be to blame for up to 2,000 deaths a year.

Some of the flaws reported include the wrong device being fitted, batteries running out and implants being programmed incorrectly.

Professor Zian Tseng, who led the research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said that many people assume pacemakers and ICDs are “infallible” but the research indicated this is not the case.

Our expert personal injury lawyers could help you claim compensation if you or a loved one has suffered due to a faulty defibrillator. See our Faulty Defibrillator Claims page for more information.

Tim Annett, an expert product liability lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented people affected by ICD faults, said:

Expert Opinion
Implantable medical devices are responsible for saving countless lives but these new figures are extremely concerning.

“Every patient with one of these devices fitted will trust that they have been fitted correctly, are fit for purpose and will perform the job they were intended for. The first priority must be to reassure patients who have undergone these procedures and those due to have these devices fitted that they are fit for purpose and will perform the role they are intended for without issue.

“Hopefully this research will lead to a thorough investigation into the way these devices are manufactured and used. If any problems are identified they need to be tackled immediately to ensure the devices are performing as intended and allowing patients to continue with their lives.
Tim Annett, Partner