Court Holds First Responders Can Be Liable for Death Even Where Patient Found In A Life-Threatening, Nonresponsive State

The decision of First Department, in King v. St. Barnabas Hospital., 2011 WL 2567782 (June 30, 2011), a medical malpractice case, interestingly found that the evidence from which a jury could find that the proximate cause of the death of a heart attack victim came not from expert testimony on behalf of the plaintiff but from [t]he very fact that advanced life support protocols exist for patients in an asystolic (no electrical activity in the heart) state . According to the court, the existence of advanced life support protocols for patients in an asystolic state in and of … Read the rest

Medtronic Urges Doctors to Stop Using Defibrillator Leads After Linking Five Deaths to Breaks in Them

The nation’s largest maker of implanted heart devices, Medtronic, said yesterday that it was voluntarily urging doctors to stop using a family of leads known as the Sprint Fidelis, a crucial component in its most recent implantable defibrillator models, because the leads break too often.

Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. A lead is a wire that connects the heart to a defibrillator, a device implanted near the shoulder … Read the rest