The term medical devices and equipment covers all products (apart from medicines) used in a healthcare setting for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring or treatment of illness or disability.

There is, as you would expect, a very wide range of equipment used, from dressings and syringes to heart valves and walking frames, to replacement hips and knees.

As you would expect with such a wide range of products being used across a myriad of different healthcare settings, things can sometimes go wrong. Some examples are:

Faulty Products: Patient safety experts have called into question the current regime for the regulation of medical devices following recent scandals involving the recall by DePuy of their metal-on-metal hips and the French made PIP breast implants, both of which were defective products and have resulted in clinical negligence claims.

Never Event: This is an event that should never happen. The NHS publish a list of Never Events, one of which is the retention in a patient of a foreign object such as swabs, needles, instruments and guide wires after a surgical or other invasive procedure.