A port catheter is a specialized medical device made up of an implanted port device and a catheter. There is a range of different models used for a range of different medical conditions. They are often used to administer daily chemotherapy to cancer patients. Another common use for them is removing blood clots in patients who have suffered from an acute ischemic stroke.
One of the main advantages of port catheters is the fact they can be left implanted, allowing for daily treatment to be administered without the need for a more traditional catheter to be installed each time.
However, over the past decade, there have been a number of recalls issued for port catheter devices due to dangerous defects in the products. Due to this, there have been a number of personal injury cases and product liability cases brought against the manufacturers of these devices in order to pursue financial compensation. These cases are following the hundreds of reports brought against these companies following injuries, complications and even deaths that have resulted from defective port-a-cath devices.
Medical device manufacturers are expected to adhere to certain standards, and this includes ensuring that adequate testing has been carried out on their devices. It also means that when defects are found and reported, they should act quickly to recall the products. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in many of these cases, and this means defective products have been left on the market for much longer than they should have been.
If you have suffered because of a defective port catheter, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering and you should be able to pursue the recovery of any damages that you have suffered as a result of your injuries.
Here at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we pride ourselves on our reputation for reliable representation. Our goal is to help all victims of defective medical products to pursue the compensation that is rightfully theirs. We offer all new clients and victims a free initial consultation and case evaluation. This gives you the space to ask important questions, receive some immediate, unbiased advice, and devise a plan of action. We will evaluate your case, lay down our fee structure and if you feel comfortable, we can take on your case immediately.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation with one of our implanted port injury attorneys at 816-320-6108.
Contact a Joplin MO Port Catheter Injury Lawyer at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC Today
Our legal team of personal injury lawyers here at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is comprised of some of the most skilled, trial-tested attorneys in the state. We do not settle for less and if that means taking your case to court and fighting a long, drawn-out legal battle to secure your compensation, then we are prepared to do so. We are not scared of the large medical manufacturers and many of them know our reputation, meaning you have better chances of an out-of-court settlement.
When insurance companies know they are facing a trial-tested and battle-ready attorney, it is much more likely that they will offer a fair and reasonable settlement to avoid losing in court.
We take a personalized and compassionate approach when it comes to fighting cases. We take the time to listen compassionately so that we can truly understand what you have been through. We also ensure that each of our clients is provided with education on the areas they are unsure about, and we strive to keep you fully informed and in the loop throughout your entire case.
What are Port Catheters?
Port catheters, or implanted port devices, have a number of names such as port-a-caths and subcutaneous ports. They are medical devices made up of two parts that are implanted into the consumer to allow them access to daily treatment without the need for a catheter to be installed every day they need treatment.
- Catheter – A long tube that enters the vein, often made of silicone that is soft and flexible.
- Port – A small medical appliance that is often inserted beneath the skin of the chest that connects to the catheter.
The most common use for a port catheter is to allow people requiring long-term treatment with easy access for injections and blood to be taken without needing daily injections and pricks.
Implanted port installation can be extremely convenient as they can be kept in for a long period of time without needing to be removed or replaced. For treatment that lasts more than a single day, this can be really useful to the consumer.
What is Catheter Fracture?
Catheter fracture is one of the common complaints against some of the defective catheter manufacturers and occurs when small parts of the catheter become loose and enter the body’s circulation. These fractured parts may end up clogging important vessels and may lead to serious problems like sepsis. In the most serious cases, migration can end up in the heart or other organs, shutting them down.
Other common problems occur when the fracture leads to air in the circulatory system, which can result in bacteria developing inside the circulatory system.
These devices should be designed to withstand everything that may happen to them after they have been installed. When catheter fractures occur, it often means that the product is not up to the task. When this is found, it is down to the manufacturer to step in and recall the product.
What is Catheter Migration?
Catheter migration occurs when the entire catheter becomes dislodged from the port. In this instance, there is no fracturing. When a catheter migrates, it can move around the body. However, as long as small parts do not fracture from the device, the catheter can usually be removed without further complications.
Wrongful Death of a Loved One After a Catheter Injury
In the worst-case scenario, victims of defective port catheter devices lose their life due to their injuries. When this happens, their family members can claim compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit could compensate you for your economic and non-economic damages as a result of your loved ones’ injuries and subsequent death. No amount of money can begin to heal your grief. However, it is important that you are not left in financial hardship because of the negligent actions of a medical device manufacturer.
At Holman Schiavone Law LLC, we will dedicate ourselves to your case and fight for what you deserve. We will keep you as involved as you choose to be while taking over the entire legal process so that you can focus on your family.
How Much Can I Claim in a Joplin Catheter Injury Lawsuit?
The amount that victims of catheter injuries can claim in Missouri varies widely. Factors that contribute to how much you could potentially receive include the quality of your legal representation, the value of your damages, and how clear liability is.
At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we have a long history of successful personal injury claims to draw upon. We are committed to ensuring compensation for our clients, which we achieve by ensuring that past and future damages are taken into consideration, as well as the emotional impact the injuries have had on you.
We take the time to understand your unique situation, which enables us to provide substantial evidence for a settlement that is difficult to argue with.
Potential damages a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you claim include:
Non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for your emotional and physical suffering and the impact your injuries have had on your quality of life. The legal term for these damages is pain and suffering, and they are often the most challenging to calculate and evidence.
It is important to have representation from an experienced catheter injury lawyer who can fight for a settlement that is truly representative of your pain and suffering.
Medical Expenses – Past and Future
Victims of personal injuries are often most concerned with the cost of medical expenses. Even the most comprehensive health insurance policy may not be sufficient to cover the ongoing costs, especially when you consider hospital bills, medications, rehabilitation, transport to and from appointments, and all of the other expenses related to your injuries.
A successful product liability claim should compensate you for all of your medical expenses, both now and in the future. An experienced attorney may draw upon expert testimony in order to get an accurate representation of your ongoing costs.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Potential
If you were a consumer of a port catheter, then you were likely already taking time away from work. However, any additional time you have taken due to your injuries from the device should be compensated for. Furthermore, if your injuries will prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity, then your attorney may seek a lifetime of lost earnings.
Catheter lawsuits are often complex as it is necessary to determine the value of your damages as a result of the defective device and which damages you would have incurred anyway. That is why it is so important to have representation from a law firm that has experience helping victims of defective medical devices such as Holman Schiavone Law, LLC.
Recalled Port Catheter Devices
There have been a lot of reports regarding faulty and defective port catheter devices over the past few years. If you have suffered because of a port catheter, you should call our team immediately and discuss your case. With defective products, raising a claim is not only important for you and your own suffering, it is also important as it may prevent further injury in other consumers in the future.
It almost always takes ongoing pressure from victims and their attorneys before medical device manufacturers take steps to recall their products. Some recent examples of recalled products are:
The Penumbra Jet 7 Xtra Flex is a special type of catheter known as an aspiration catheter and was designed to remove blood clots in people who had suffered an ischemic stroke. This form of stroke is caused by blood clots.
This catheter was first released back in 2007 and was seen as a revolutionary medical device that could be used to help a range of different conditions.
However, soon after its release, reports began to surface regarding the dangers and potential defects of these catheters.
In Penumbra’s urgent voluntary recall, they stated:
“Penumbra is recalling the JET 7 Xtra Flex because the catheter may become susceptible to distal tip damage during use. Distal tip damage in conjunction with pressurization or contrast injection may result in potential vessel damage, and subsequent patient injury or death,”
While this device was designed with pressurization and contrast injection in mind, there were numerous reports of ballooning and rupture of the catheter pipes and internal support coils and even reports of migration of small and large parts of the catheter, leading to sepsis and death in some consumers.
These complications led to serious injuries, including vessel damage, cerebral infarction, hemorrhage, and death. With over 200 reports of injuries and deaths caused by the Jet 7 Xtra Flex, all victims that have suffered due to this type of catheter are eligible to bring a lawsuit against Penumbra.
Bard issued a voluntary recall of the Bard PowerPort and Bard MRI Implantable Port in March 2021. This was due to the fact that there were numerous reports of the catheter in these devices degrading because of flex fatigue. This led to fractures and migrations.
To begin with, when these reports began to flood in, Bard tried to reposition the blame, stating that it was due to medical malpractice and incompetence of healthcare professionals. Over time, however, it became obvious that the problem, in fact, lay with the device, not the professionals installing them.
The resulting injuries of catheter failure include:
- Blood clots
- Blood infections
- Pulmonary embolism
- Cardiac Punctures
- Cardiac arrhythmia
If you have suffered an injury after having either the Bard PowerPort or Bard MRI Implantable Port, you may be entitled to pursue compensation as a result.
Potential Implanted Port Injuries
Port catheters come with inherent risks and injuries are common. In fact, around 1 in 3 consumers will suffer some form of complication from a port catheter. However, the majority of these complications are not serious injuries.
However, some injuries can be extremely serious and even life-threatening, especially when those injuries are a result of a defective device.
Potential complications consumers of port catheters can experience include:
When a port catheter fractures, the sharp parts may result in irritation of the vein wall. In some cases, this can result in blood clots forming. Defective devices come with an increased risk of this happening.
While blood clots may be treated by special medicine, if the blood clots have formed because of a defective catheter, the catheter needs to be removed.
Another potential complication resulting from blood clots is a blocked line, which can make treatment difficult. Medical professionals can often clear a blockage, but other times they will need to remove the device completely. If the blood clot has been caused by a defective device, then it is essential that it is removed as quickly as possible.
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot becomes trapped in an artery that leads to the lung. This blocks blood flow, damages lung tissue and lowers blood oxygen levels. These injuries are often severe and can be life-threatening.
If you or someone you loved suffered a pulmonary embolism after having a port catheter device, it was likely due to a failed implanted port that became dislodged or fractured.
Perhaps the most common injury from a catheter device is infection. The first signs of infection are swelling, redness and a high temperature. Mild infections can be treated with antibiotics, but if the catheter is defective, then it is integral that the device is removed.
A fractured catheter creates space for bacteria to build up, leading to serious infections, which can be life-threatening.
Pneumothorax occurs when air leaks between the lung and chest wall, which leads to lung collapse. Pneumothorax can also be a result of a failed port-a-cath device.
Do I Need a Joplin, MO, Port Catheter Injury Lawyer To Secure Compensation?
While you do not need legal representation to pursue compensation over a defective medical product, your chances are always better if you do so with an attorney behind you. The manufacturers of medical products are often huge corporations with the resources to hire the best possible legal teams to protect them. Their sole job is to diminish your claim and limit their liability.
The best way to ensure you level the playing field is to find an attorney with a strong reputation that is skilled and talented at fighting defective product claims that involve serious injury. They will have experience from past cases and will know exactly how to build your case. They will take over the investigations and will calculate your damages on your behalf in a way that is difficult to dispute.
The majority of victims who pursue compensation with skilled legal representation end up with a more substantial settlement, even after their attorney has deducted their fees from the settlement.
Product liability falls under personal injury, and this means that the core of the case is based on negligence. In order to prove negligence, your attorney will need to build a case that proves the medical manufacturer has behaved negligently.
Claims that involve a medical manufacturer are extremely complex, and your attorney will need to know exactly how to approach them. This means it is important that you find an attorney that can showcase victories in past cases similar to yours.
Contact Holman Schiavone Law LLC For a Free Consultation With a Joplin MO Port Catheter Injury Lawyer
Medical device manufacturers must be held to high standards so that their consumers are protected from preventable harm. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we are committed to securing compensation for victims while holding large corporations accountable for their negligence.
Speak to one of our catheter injury lawyers today for a free consultation about your personal injury case at 816-320-6108.