Sometimes, a medical device appears to hold particular promise for people in New Mexico with certain health conditions. There are many factors that may affect safety, though. Not only is there a potential for adverse reactions or complications, the procedures for putting the device in place may create a risk.

Deaths and complications have been reported since the release of a new device that is intended to assist people who have a high body mass index with losing weight. Rather than undergoing bariatric surgery, hundreds of people in the United States have opted for the insertion of a balloon in the stomach. It is delivered through the esophagus, so doctors claim that the procedure is minimally invasive. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put out an alert that the balloon system or the procedure may be responsible for five deaths since the beginning of 2016.

The potential causes of the deaths may be perforations in the lining of the esophagus or stomach, or they could be related to an intestinal obstruction. In addition to these five deaths, the cause of which have not been verified, there were two other patients who died from confirmed perforations in the esophagus and stomach after the devices were implanted. Other potential health risks include spontaneous overinflation of the devices and pancreatitis. According to one surgeon, careful monitoring of the patient should identify these and other complications, which are treatable.

When patients suffer injuries after a medical procedure, it is essential to discover the cause to prevent further harm. Many people seek the assistance of an attorney who understands the investigative process and what evidence may be necessary to prove liability.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “FDA investigating deaths of patients who had gastric balloon procedure for obesity,” Melissa Healy, Aug. 12, 2017