Although port catheters can be medically necessary for some patients, they are invasive devices and they can cause serious injuries. There has been a range of products recalled in recent years due to breakage. When parts of the catheter break loose, they end up loose in the bloodstream, where they can make their way to the hearts and lungs and cause serious harm, long-term damage, and even death. Medical equipment needs to be of the highest standard, and if you or a loved one have been a victim of a defective device, then you should seek high-quality legal representation as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to an implanted port, then you may be owed compensation. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC we offer a free case evaluation to all personal injury victims. Contact our law firm today at 816-320-6108 and find out whether you may be owed compensation.
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Contact Holman Schiavone Law, LLC Today For Experienced Representation in Missouri
At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC we are always prepared to take cases to trial if it means securing the best possible outcomes for our clients. Insurance defense lawyers know which attorneys are skilled litigators and are likely to take them to court if they do not offer a just settlement. Therefore, our history of success in trying cases is a determining factor in how much compensation will be awarded in your case.
Our attorneys have the skills, resources, and experience to assess the short and long-term consequences of your injury, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing pain and suffering. We take a personalized approach and will work out the extent of your injuries and the effect they will have on your life. Whether your case requires negotiation of a fair settlement or fighting on your behalf at trial, we will aggressively pursue compensation for your needs now and in the future.
What is a Port-a-Cath Implanted Port?
A port-a-cath is a catheter with a small reservoir, known as a port, attached to it. It can be used to give chemotherapy or medicine straight into a vein, or it can be used to take blood. They have many different names, including port catheter, implanted port device, or subcutaneous ports.
The catheter is a thin tube made of silicone which is soft and flexible. It is usually implanted under the skin of the chest or sometimes in an arm. The end of the tube enters a large vein just above your heart, and the other end connects to the port. The port is a small disc that is placed under the skin on the upper chest or arm.
There are many types of ports that are used for various treatments, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, intravenous fluids, or blood transfusions. They can also be used to take blood, to remove the need for needles. Ports can be left in for weeks, months, or even years, and patients can go to and from the hospital with them left in.
Port catheters can be beneficial because they reduce the number of needles, allow for more than one treatment at a time, or enable treatments that last for more than a day.
Possible Problems With a Port Catheter
Each type of catheter comes with possible side effects and risks which have the potential to cause severe injury. Some of the most common are infection issues, blocked line, blood clots, catheter failure, and catheter migration.
What Happens if a Port Gets Infected?
If a port becomes infected, then the area around the port is likely to become swollen and painful; it may also cause a high temperature and a faint, breathless, or dizzy feeling. An infection could be treated with antibiotics, or the line may have to be removed.
In serious cases, septicemia could lead to sepsis, a serious infection that could lead to blood clots and even organ failure. Sepsis is a medical emergency and requires fast action.
Infection is sometimes caused by a product defect. If this is the case, then you should pursue seeking compensation with help of a personal injury lawyer.
Sometimes a catheter can become partly or completely clogged, which will make treatment very difficult. This too can be caused by a defect in the medical device.
Blood clots can sometimes form where the catheter sits, which could cause tenderness, swelling, or redness in the arm or neck on the same side of the body as the port. Blood clots can often be resolved with medicine, but sometimes the device may have to be removed.
What Happens if the Catheter Breaks?
Often, injuries are caused by defective medical devices, and when this happens, personal injury cases can be brought against the manufacturers of the product. Not only does this help secure a settlement or jury award for your injuries, it can also force high standards on large manufacturers and help to protect other people in the future.
Some catheter models have been recalled due to parts degrading and fracturing. This often happens because of a reduction in durability due to continuous flexing, also known as flex fatigue. This can result in broken, loose pieces floating into the bloodstream, which can harm blood vessels, the heart, and other injuries. These types of injuries can cause severe injury and even death.
In some cases, a broken piece of the catheter can be swept to the heart, and the patient will require emergency heart surgery to remove the fragments. This can also put patients at a higher risk of a pulmonary embolism, a blockage in the arteries of the lung, which can cause permanent damage.
Port-a-Catheter Migration or Dislodgement
Sometimes a catheter becomes dislodged from the implanted port device without fracturing and can move to other parts of the body. Although this does have the potential to cause serious injury, if they remain whole, then removing them is usually easier and causes less harm.
Who Can be Held Liable for Catheter Injuries in Missouri?
Catheter injuries could result in personal injury claims if they were a result of someone else’s negligence.
If the device used was defective, then the manufacturer could be held liable for your injuries. A common example of this is where the catheter was prone to breakage. Port-a-cath devices are made from polyurethane and silicone; they also have coats on them to reinforce the device to prevent degradation. However, sometimes manufacturers fail to implement these safety measures or properly test their devices.
When manufacturers knowingly ignore safety measures, they can be found negligent and, therefore, liable for your injuries. That means that they owe you compensation for all of your damages, including your medical expenses.
Port Catheter Failure Claim Against Bard™
There has been a range of products recalled in recent years due to implanted port catheter injury. Currently, there is an investigation for a potential lawsuit against the manufacturer Bard™ relating to their PowerPort™ product.
PowerPort™ is a port catheter made from silicone; this silicone component has been shown to break down in the body, causing loose pieces to break off and circulate through the vascular system. This can be extremely dangerous, causing hemorrhage, perforation, blood clotting, cardiac tamponade, and even death.
There are reports that suggest that Bard™ has received over a thousand reports or fatal or near-fatal injury due to its port-a-cath device, yet they have chosen to do nothing. There are also claims that surgeons and physicians have been misled into believing that the implant was entirely safe, leading to patients unknowingly being put at risk. While Bard™ has tried to blame the poor practice of medical professionals, claiming that they only break when inserted improperly, this does not seem to be the case.
Defective medical devices must be dealt with quickly and aggressively to protect future patients from injury and death. Large corporations must be held accountable for the safety of their products.
If you or someone you love has had a PowerPort™ and has suffered a port-a-cath injury, then you should arrange a free consultation with Holman Schiavone Law, LLC as soon as possible.
How to Prove Liability in a Missouri Port Catheter Injury Claim
In order for a corporation to be found liable for your injuries, they must be shown to have acted negligently. Proving that someone’s negligent actions are responsible for your injuries usually requires the help of a personal injury lawyer with experience. Corporations will not usually admit fault, and so these cases require thorough investigation, strong evidence, and aggressive representation. In order to prove negligence, your attorney will need to establish four elements.
You Were Owed a Duty of Care
All companies owe a standard of care to the consumers who are the end users of their products.That means that the care they give is of a similar standard to that of a reasonably competent company in a similar circumstance.
Manufacturers owe a standard of care to the people who use their products. They have a duty to ensure their products are safe and that any potential risks are minimized.
The Standard of Care Was Breached
If a company breaches its duty of care, then they act in a manner that is different from how a reasonable company/manufacturer would in a similar situation.
You Were Proximately Harmed As a Result
Proximate cause means that you were harmed because of the negligent actions of another. If you would have suffered the same injuries regardless of the negligent act, then you won’t have a valid claim.
Your Injuries Resulted in Damages
Finally, your injuries must have directly resulted in damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Much Can You Recover Through a Port Catheter Injury Lawsuit?
The amount you receive for a port catheter injury will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Ultimately, it comes down to the value of your damages, and how clear the liability is, and the quality of your representation.
Potential damages you may be able to claim are:
Medical bills are often the thing that people are most concerned about after suffering a port catheter injury, especially one that causes long-term damage. A successful claim will compensate you for all past medical bills and the estimated cost of future treatment. It could also include additional medical expenses associated with the injuries suffered, such as physical therapy, medication, and transport to and from the hospital.
It is important that you secure high-quality representation from an attorney who understands how to calculate your damages, ensuring that you are not left out of pocket for future treatment.
A port a cath injury may result in you needing to take more time off work to recover. If so then you may be entitled to lost wages you have already suffered, as well as the value of any future wages. If you are unable to work in the same capacity after your injury, then you may also be entitled to loss of earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages compensate you for physical pain, mental distress, and change to your lifestyle as a result of the injury. These are non-economic damages and can be difficult to quantify and evidence. A skilled attorney is needed to ensure that you receive maximum compensation, which is reflective of your experiences.
If you lost a loved one because of a port catheter injury, then you deserve to be compensated. A wrongful death lawsuit compensated you for funeral expenses, loss of income to a family household, and pain and suffering. While this cannot take away your pain, it can ensure that you do not suffer financially through someone else’s negligence.
Do I Need a Lawyer To Pursue Compensation For a Missouri Port Catheter Injury?
Although you may be able to pursue compensation without a personal injury lawyer, it is not recommended. These cases require a considerable amount of evidence to succeed, and the skills and experience of an attorney will prove invaluable.
Pursuing a case on your own can be an incredibly stressful experience, and it is essential that you can focus on your recovery. Often victims who do have representation end up with a higher settlement, even when legal fees are considered.
Lawsuits against large medical manufacturers or insurance companies are often intimidating. They will have large legal teams with a wealth of resources to protect their own interests. They will do anything they can to limit their liability or devalue your claim. Your attorney will help level the playing field and ensure that you have equally strong legal resources.
Your attorney will file legal paperwork, collect evidence, evaluate your damages, provide formal legal advice, liaise with insurance companies, and will fight your case in court if necessary.
Speak to a Missouri Port Catheter Injury Lawyer Today
It is essential that those entrusted with our health are held to the highest standards. If you or someone you love has suffered a port catheter injury because of the negligent actions of a medical device manufacturer/company, then you deserve compensation.
At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, our attorneys will ensure that both the short and long-term consequences of your injury are reflected in your settlement. We will negotiate for a fair settlement where possible and will provide aggressive representation if needed. We will do what it takes to sure maximum compensation and ensure that your needs are met now and in the future.