Talkin’ Shop: How the Recalled Riata Defibrillator and Friends Work — and Sometimes Fail

This is a fact: implanted defibrillators are invaluable and are made up of several parts, like the recalled Riata lead. The Riata lead works to save and protect patients’ lives by sensing the patients’ heartbeat and providing necessary jolting to the heart when the  heartbeat becomes irregular. The recalled Riata lead’s job, then, is to monitor the heartbeat and step in only when needed to help reset a heartbeat and, in turn, hopefully avoid serious cardiac events like sudden cardiac arrest.

You know what’s funny — if it weren’t just so sad — the recalled Riata, Riata ST, and the Durata lead all fail for the exact same reason.

That’s right. Just how other drugs and medical devices are typically recalled for unfortunate side effects, the recalled Riata ST and Riata lead were recalled by the FDA and pulled from the market by their manufacturer, St. Jude Medical, because it failed to do its job — it’s not about nasty side effects this time. No, with the recalled Riata lead and Riata ST lead, it’s about a total, and potentially deadly, failure. And while the Durata has not been recalled by the FDA, they still work, and fail, in a similar manner.

Patients around the country have been contacting us about the Durata and the recalled Riata lead and recalled Riata ST lead, letting us know about their bad experiences to see if we can help them.

Here’s a sampling of what they have reported:

  1. Failed sensing or pacing of the heart
  2. Jolts to the heart when they don’t need them
  3. A lack of jolts to the heart when they do need them

It’s a failure that goes far past nasty side effects. And what’s worse is, unlike a prescription medicine, patients who are suffering from the failures of the recalled Riata lead, recalled Riata ST lead, and the Durata lead may not know why the failure is happening at all.

And because of that, the recent recall is to help future defibrillator patients from suffering, but it does very little for the patients who still have the failing implanted defibrillators inside of them and are counting on these defibrillators to step in when needed. That’s why we have begun representing patients who have suffered from failure of their implanted defibrillators.

If you or someone you know has experienced similar things happening with your implanted heart defibrillator, you could be suffering from the Riata ST, the Durata or the recalled Riata lead. You can contact one of our lawyers at 866-520-2755 or email us here to find out what your legal options are.

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