Implantable medical devices have become indispensable tools for managing and improving various health conditions. From pacemakers to insulin pumps, these devices play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for millions of individuals.
According to Yahoo Finance, the global implantable medical device market is worth $80.15 billion. This market is expected to reach a value of $138.47 billion by 2030.
However, as with any technology, unforeseen emergencies can arise when using such implantable devices, requiring swift and informed action. In this article, we will check out a few ways to respond to an emergency related to an implantable medical device that you might encounter.
Stay Calm and Assess the Situation
In moments of crisis, maintaining composure is paramount. If you suspect an issue with your implantable device or witness someone facing an emergency, take a deep breath and assess the situation calmly. Panic can cloud judgment and hinder the ability to make rational decisions.
Start by checking for obvious signs of distress, such as difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or unusual device alerts. Quickly assess the patient’s overall condition before proceeding to any further steps.
Follow Device-Specific Instructions
Implantable medical devices come with detailed manuals and guidelines provided by the manufacturer and healthcare professionals. Familiarize yourself well in advance with the specific instructions related to your device.
In the event of an emergency, consult these guidelines for step-by-step instructions on troubleshooting common issues. Manufacturers often include information about what to do in case of device malfunctions, alerts, or battery depletion. Keep these instructions readily accessible, whether in a physical form or digitally, to ensure a swift response when needed.
Contact Healthcare Professionals Immediately
In any medical emergency involving implantable devices, seeking help from medical professionals is crucial. If you are the patient, contact your healthcare provider or emergency services immediately. Provide them with essential information, including the type of device you have, any symptoms you are experiencing, and the duration of the issue.
Healthcare professionals are trained to handle such situations and can provide guidance over the phone while dispatching emergency services if necessary. If you witness someone else facing a device emergency, call for help promptly.
Healthcare providers can also help decide which brand of devices to opt for and which ones to avoid. For instance, healthcare professionals will now ask you to avoid the Bard Power Port. That’s because, according to TorHoerman Law, these implantable devices are facing lawsuits as several users are dealing with serious injuries caused by catheter failure. Because of such failure, the Bard Power Port lawsuits were filed against the manufacturer.
Currently, the Bard Power Port lawsuit settlement amount could be between $10,000 and over $100,000. Healthcare professionals are aware of these details, as well as other news related to the implantable medical device industry. For that, they’ll have good knowledge regarding which devices to use and which ones to avoid.
Implement Basic Life Support Measures
In certain situations, such as cardiac events or respiratory distress, immediate intervention may be required. Basic life support (BLS) measures can be crucial in sustaining life until professional help arrives.
If you are trained in BLS, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary and perform other relevant maneuvers as per your training. It’s essential to prioritize life-saving actions while waiting for emergency services. If you are not trained in BLS, follow any guidance provided by emergency services over the phone until help arrives.
Utilize Remote Monitoring Features
According to Grand View Research, the global remote patient monitoring system market is valued at over $5.2 billion. Many implantable medical devices are equipped with such remote monitoring capabilities for patients and healthcare providers to track the device’s performance. These devices or systems can also help detect potential issues before they escalate into emergencies.
Regularly check the remote monitoring data as per the recommended schedule. If your device shows any abnormalities or triggers an alert, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Proactive monitoring can aid in the early detection of issues, allowing for timely intervention and reducing the risk of serious complications.
Prepare for Emergency Medical Transport
If immediate medical attention is essential, preparing for emergency medical transport is vital. If you or someone else is facing a severe implantable medical device emergency, call for an ambulance promptly.
Provide the dispatcher with detailed information about the situation, the type of device involved, and any ongoing interventions. If possible, have a list of medications, medical history, and contact information for healthcare providers readily available for the paramedics.
Emergency medical services are equipped to handle critical situations and can transport the patient to a healthcare facility for further evaluation and treatment.
Do check if your or the patient’s insurance covers the medical transportation cost. Forbes reports that 51 percent of emergency medical rides for those who are privately insured include an out-of-network charge. Such charges can lead to a rather big and surprising medical bill. Therefore, be aware of the coverage in this case.
In summary, while implantable medical devices have revolutionized healthcare, emergencies can still occur. Being prepared and knowing how to respond can make a significant difference in the outcome.
Stay informed about your device, follow manufacturer guidelines, and seek professional help promptly. In times of crisis, a calm and collected approach can be the key to ensuring the safety of individuals with implantable medical devices.