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Design defect in pacemakers makes them vulnerable to hackers

Products that are needed to function in everyday life are expected to be safe and trustworthy. However, Montana residents must be aware that there are times when these products - foods, automobiles, prescription medicines and even medical implants - might be dangerous in some circumstances. Even health products, like prescription drugs, do not elicit the same worries as an item that was implanted inside a person. It is in these circumstances that a medical issue or even death must be fully investigated to determine if a product liability case should be filed based on product defect claims.

Close to a half-million people are being advised to update their pacemakers due to a vulnerability to hackers. The Food and Drug Administration said that the recall would take place for pacemakers that were made by Abbott Laboratories. This lab was formerly known as St. Jude Medical. There are gaps in the cybersecurity of the pacemaker and they could be exploited.

Around 465,000 people across the nation were advised to go see their doctor to get an update that will stop the vulnerability. An estimated 280,000 other devices outside the U.S. can also be updated. With this security problem, a hacker might be able to alter the device's settings or turn it off completely. So far, no reports of this occurring have come to light. This is the second time this year that this company had a security update for heart-related devices with the other coming about in January for a cardiac device.

Although there have not been reports of people being harmed by this security problem with the pacemakers, there could have been problems for those who have this device and they did not know why the problems happened. Injuries and even fatalities can come about with a medical device that could be hacked. Having legal assistance that is experienced in investigating a variety of product liability issues can be useful in determining if there was an injury because of this security flaw. Those who think they might have been harmed by this or any other product liability issue should contact an attorney to discuss the circumstances of their case.

Source: nbcmontana.com, "Recall issued to update hackable pacemakers," Selena Larson, August 31, 2017

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