If there is one thing to take away from watching the Netflix documentary, The Bleeding Edge, about the harm some medical devices have done, is never have anything new and improved put into your body. The list of offenders that inflicted body damage and horrible complications and side effects include cobalt hip replacements (cobalt poisoning symptoms), the Essure coil sterilization implant (chronic debilitating pain), the DaVinci surgical hysterectomy robot (post operative colon descension), and vaginal mesh (multiple complications and impossible to remove).
The documentary points out that the medical device industry is an over 300 billion dollar industry where safety testing is minimal, liability is restricted and government oversight from the FDA leans heavily to protecting corporate profits over patient health and well being. These devices have to only be similarly identical to another on the market to avoid rigorous testing, patient trials and garner FDA approval. Shockingly, this applies even if the original device has been recalled. “When it comes to medical devices, we built a system that doesn’t work,” says David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner.
These devices are still being sold and marketed in the United States despite being banned from sale almost everywhere else in the world. The parade of FDA heads who became industry lobbyists is long and unending.
Personal cases are followed to show the human devastation involved. The Bleeding Edge is a cry for caution for patients not to accept the latest and greatest unless it has been thoroughly tried and true.