There are broken devices doing important jobs in the bodies of Canadians right now. We don’t know how many. We don’t know how dangerous they are. But we do know that similarly broken medical implants may have played a role in at least 1,400 deaths and 14,000 injuries since 2008. And that number is likely underreported. And a broken system prevents us from establishing guidelines around which devices are causing problems quickly enough to prevent more. A massive global investigation has revealed some frightening facts and raised some immediate questions.

How often do medical implants fail? Which versions of which devices are prone to malfunction and cause more harm than the symptoms they are intended to treat? How thoroughly are they tested before they’re put on the market, and what happens when problems begin to be reported with a device that’s already wired into hundreds of thousands of beating hearts around the world? Jesse McLean of the Toronto Star worked with a team of reporters from 58 organizations to expose the hidden stories of faulty medical implants.

NOTE: On Thursday evening Health Canada issued a statement acknowledging these problems and vowing to increase oversight. Details are to be announced "in the coming weeks."

GUEST: Jesse McLean, Toronto Star

 

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