Cristina Martinez’s Houston spinal Surgery was thought to be easy. According to a report he submitted about the operation, after destabilising her spine, the surgeon learned the implant he was about to insert in her back was larger than he wanted to use—and the device company’s sales agent didn’t have a lesser version on hand. Martinez claims that Dr. Ra’Kerry Rahman carried out the operation, and she awoke with pain and numbness.
Martinez claims she suffered nerve damage and loss of feeling in her left leg when Rahman removed the plastic device four days later and replaced it with a smaller one. Martinez is suing the physician, implant manufacturer Life Spine Inc., as well as its distributors and sales agents, arguing that their carelessness caused her injuries because the correct part was not accessible during her first Surgery. All of them deny any wrongdoing. The lawsuit will be heard in November.
In hundreds of medical malpractice, product liability, and whistleblower claims filed over the last decade, these behaviours have been implicated for leading to substantial patient injury, according to a KHN investigation. Some patients claim they were wounded after sales reps sold or delivered incorrect-size or defective implants, while others accuse device manufacturers of deceiving doctors about their products’ safety and longevity.