Unfortunately, patients who have other Medtronic leads that have not been recalled are also suffering from problems with their leads and defibrillators. However, since their leads have not been recalled, they are unsure of what they can, or should, do.
"You know that guy with the 32 shocks in 40 minutes?" Robert Prisamt asks. "Well, that's me. I had a defibrillator implanted in 2002 and I've had nothing but problems since. I had a new device implanted in 2005, with what were supposed to be new leads, and I'm still having trouble."
The leads initially used in Prisamt's defibrillator, because they were implanted in 2002, would have been the Medtronic Sprint Quattro, not the Sprint Fidelis Leads. However, Prisamt says that he suffered multiple shocks one year after the defibrillator was implanted—as many as 26 in a row. At the time, nothing was done about the shocks and the defibrillator and leads were left implanted.
In 2005, Prisamt had a new device implanted. He says he was told at the time that new leads would also be implanted. However, he later learned that some of the leads were the same ones that had caused his earlier shocks. "I had so many problems with the leads," Prisamt says. "They wouldn't function properly. On October 3, I had a heart rate of 207, but the defibrillator did not register a fast heart rate on that day. Six months ago I saw a cardiologist, a new one, who told me that my leads were barely functional. In fact, I was told in the ER that my leads were fractured and were dangerous."
READ MORE LEGAL NEWS
Prisamt's defibrillator has allegedly malfunctioned in two life-threatening ways: it delivered unnecessary shocks and it failed register a fast heart rate that may have required a shock to slow down. Yet he has been told that because his Medtronic leads are not on the list of recalled leads, there is very little that can be done.
"I want this situation corrected," Prisamt says. "I only have one heart. I have no choice. Something has to be done to take care of this problem."