Questions raised on Guidant recall

Attorneys for patients who must have Guidant pacemakers removed say the company's offer of $2,500 doesn't come anywhere near covering the costs of the procedure. The pacemaker recall affects thousands of patients who learned they have faulty pacemakers and defibrillators when Guidant disclosed a series of serious malfunctions involving the units. The replacement surgery is proving difficult, heart specialists say, because of a risk that the lead attaching the device to the heart can become infected. The paper quotes Dr. George Klein of the University of Western Ontario, who notes that in Canada one patient has died and a number have suffered serious complications while having the procedure.

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PLUS: Fresh problems cropped up for Guidant, as the company lost a patent dispute with Israeli device maker Medinol. The Israeli company is expected to ask for 20 percent of revenues from all Guidant stents that infringe the patent. That, of course, would seriously impact the company's value for new owners Boston Scientific and Abbott Labs. Article