Just last month, Abbott (which combined with St. Jude Medical in January) issued a recall of 465,000 pacemakers that will require patients to visit their doctor or hospital for an update on cybersecurity. The devices they’re recalling are cardiac pacemakers and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT-P) devices, including the following:
- Accent MRI
- Accent ST
According to the FDA alert, Internet connections make modern pacemakers vulnerable to anyone with hacking skills; hackers can speed up or slow down the pacemaker, or even drain the battery faster than usual.
The company has come up with firmware to deal with the problem, and all new pacemakers manufactured will include this firmware. However, for patients who already have the devices installed, the firmware update will require an in-person patient visit with a healthcare provider. The update is estimated to take about 3 minutes to complete. During this time, the device will operate in backup mode and essential, life-sustaining features will still be present. After the update, the device will return to its pre-update settings.
The FDA recommends that those with pacemakers check with their doctors before getting an update. If you have questions about the process, call Abbott’s hotline at (800) 7322-3774 or visit sjm.com/cyberupdate.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective medical device, don’t hesitate to call one of our skilled San Francisco defective medical device attorneys. Kaiser Gornick LLP has more than 50 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. If your injury caused an accumulation of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you might be eligible for compensation. Our lawyers are proud to provide personalized attention and great service, and we have recovered hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements for our past clients. Let us see what we can do for you.
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