For the past ten years, an army of lobbyists stopped any attempt at overhauling safety regulations for the countless medical implants sold in Europe. Health authorities across the world have been misled by fraudulent claims from medical device industry lobby groups, and millions of patients have been harmed by these defective products.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ran a 1-year long investigation called the Implant Files to discover how European Union officials and politicians failed to protect countless patients from being implanted with dangerous devices which had to be recalled.
The public International Medical Devices Database (IMDD) collects all the information about all kind of problems associated with medical implants across the globe, including recalls, safety warnings, and any other relevant information.
You can access it on your own to check whether you or someone you love has one of these highly dangerous products inside the body. However, since this database is seriously big (to say the least), here’s some advice on how to break into this vault of information and find exactly what you need to know.
What Is the International Medical Devices Database?
The IMDD includes facts about potentially dangerous or defective medical devices currently used across the world. Note that this data includes info about both high-risk implants such as aortic valves, pacemakers, and inferior vena cava filters, as well as more common medical devices such as condoms, gloves, and syringes.
Data found in the database has been collected by 252 journalists from 36 countries who investigated for an entire year. It includes over 70,000 reports from 11 countries (United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Peru, Mexico, India, and Lebanon) and it’s constantly updated.
How to search for information on your own?
If you’re looking for information about a specific medical device, you can search in the database on your own. It is important to note that the database should never be used to obtain medical advice. If you need info about your implant or want to know whether your findings may be relevant to your current condition, you should always ask your doctor for advice.
The entire database is written in English since it’s an international collaboration, but specific information about each implant or device may differ from country to country. Keep that in mind when you’re looking for each implant, as its name and denomination may vary.
You can browse the IMDD by searching a particular keyword (such as “vascular graft”) or by clicking on one of the red countries on the map (additional countries will be added as new information is collected).
You can search in different categories: manufacturers – for example the company Cook for IVC filters -, events, devices, and implants. You can filter out non-relevant info by clicking on the “filters” button so you can browse, for example, only results linked to a specific country or manufactured by a particular parent company.
Please keep in mind that the database is a collection of neutral information. If a company or institution is mentioned inside it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re doing something unlawful or wrong.