Medicine and technology benefit from each other more and more each day. Even the slightest advancement in one field may open doors for significant advancements in the other. The real beneficiaries of improvements in medical or technology are us. The better medical procedures and tools that health care professionals have to treat us, the better tools and recording keeping devices to avoid complications, and the more realistic educational devices medical professionals practice on, the better health care service we will receive. Essentially, we have a symbiotic relationship between medicine and technological advancements.
However, as great as many of these medical and technological advancements are, there can be significant downfalls and new risks that we should all be aware off.
Recently in the news there has been concern over hip and knee replacements doing more harm than good. This fear was realized by one New York woman who underwent a defective hip implant surgery in 2006. Maryann Guisto underwent a hip and joint implant from the Styker Trident Acetabular hip. This hip and join implant is a ceramic-on-ceramic hip implant which is a complete replacement for her hip and connects the femur (large bone in your leg) to your pelvis.
Ms. Guisto underwent this surgery at Long Island College Hospital in 2006 without complication. However, after she had fully recovered from her surgery, she began experiencing ongoing pain in her hip, pelvis, and spine. In addition, her gait became increasingly more unstable. After consulting many doctors regarding her condition, she was still without a remedy.
Finally in 2011 Ms. Guisto learned that the hip and joint implant that she received was actually recalled in 2008. In the year she had the surgery, the FDA had sent many warnings to the company about the same symptoms Ms. Stryker had later suffered. But the company had not provided any warnings or notice to patients about the problems the hip and joint replacement was allegedly causing.
Now Ms. Guisto is suing the company, Stryker, based on a theory of negligence, breach of warranty, and alleging that the company was negligent in selecting the materials they used to manufacture the hip implant. She is seeking compensation for her past, present, and future pain and suffering and medical expenses, including the costs of the new surgery to take out the hip implant.
Despite these great advances in technology aiding medicine, we really do need to ensure we are still within our means. This case of Ms. Guisto can show us how not foster a hasty technological advancement into the medical realm because it may cause more harm than good.
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