On August 4th, a number of a families who have suffered as the result of malfunctioning medical equipment, gathered on Capitol Hill in support of the Medical Device Safety Act, a bill that would allow consumers to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products and, thereby, promote safer devices for all patients.
Molly DeGroh of McHenry, Illinois recounts the nine devastating jolts of electricity from a malfunctioning defibrillator and lead that shocked her daughter Avery. At the hospital, a chest X-ray showed a broken lead, which would’ve been nearly impossible for three-year old Avery to have broken.
Iowan Mike Mulvhill of Bettendorf shared a harrowing story of being shocked while driving through a construction zone in Ohio on a road trip to the East Coast. The defibrillator that had been implanted a little more than a year earlier for an irregular heart beat and pulse rate had shocked him with 22 unexpected, painful charges to his heart. After emergency surgery at Ohio State University, the trauma and effects of the ordeal have forced Mulvhill into early retirement.
Mike Collins of Georgetown, Texas who is afflicted with the heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, received six improper shocks from a defibrillator implanted in 2007. Collins thinks it’s important that this bill is passed: “There is a major injustice in the situation. The companies need to be held responsible for what they do.”