Sprint Fidelis leads are wires that connect the Medtronic implantable defibrillator to the heart in order to transmit a lifesaving shock to the hearts of patients with life-threatening coronary conditions. The lead can break, causing the defibrillator to either emit a painful shock or fail to send the necessary shock to the patient’s heart. Sprint Fidelis leads were a likely contributing factor in at least a dozen deaths before they were recalled in October 2007. At the time of the recall, Sprint Fidelis leads had been implanted with 90% of Medtronic’s defibrillators, and at least 235,000 people had received the faulty leads.
Removal of Sprint Fidelis leads can be extremely dangerous, causing tearing in the tissue of the heart and blood vessels. At least four patients have died while having the faulty leads removed. Patients with the defective leads are often told not to have the risky (and expensive) removal surgery. As a result, an estimated 150,000 patients still have the defective leads implanted in their chests. If you or a loved one has received a defective Sprint Fidelis lead, contact an experienced defective products lawyer at Friedman & Friedman, P.A. immediately to discuss your case.