Some of the most severe complications of a port catheter device are blood clots and pulmonary embolism. These conditions are potentially life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Many cases of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms as a result of a catheter are completely avoidable and are caused by defective medical devices.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury such as a pulmonary embolism or another type of blot clot disorder because of catheter failure, then contact Holman Schiavone Law, LLC for a free consultation. Our catheter injury lawyers are committed to securing compensation for victims of defective medical devices. At the same time, we also aim to put pressure on manufacturers to ensure higher standards in the future.
Arrange a free consultation with a catheter injury lawyer at 816-320-6108.
Contact a Catheter Lawsuit Attorney at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC Today
At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, our law firm is uniquely prepared to handle complex product liability claims involving medical devices. We are fierce negotiators and litigators and are unafraid to stand against large medical device manufacturers and their legal teams.
Other attorneys know which law firms are willing to stand trial and which aren’t, so just by having skilled representation by your side, you increase your chances of a fair and just settlement outside of court. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, our long history of trial success means that we have a stellar reputation.
We take the time to understand your case, including what effect your injuries have had on your life now and what impact they are likely to have in the future. This allows us to tailor our approach and fight for a settlement that is truly representative of your suffering.
What is a Port Catheter?
A port catheter, also known as an implanted port device, port-a-cath, central venous catheter, or subcutaneous port, is a medical device that is defined by having two parts – a port and a catheter.
- Catheter – The catheter is a long flexible tube that is inserted into a vein, usually the internal jugular vein, subclavian vein, or common femoral vein, and ends at the superior vena cava. The catheter material is usually silicone, as it is soft, flexible and durable.
- Port – The port is a small medical appliance that is inserted underneath the skin, usually in the chest or arm. It connects to the catheter and keeps it in place.
Central venous catheters, or central line, is designed to give medications or fluids or to do medical tests quickly. They are used on patients who require long-term treatment, such as cancer patients. Central venous port systems can be left in for weeks, months, or years.
Peripherally inserted central catheters are typically inserted into the arm, while an implanted port is inserted into the chest.
Another type of catheter device is a reperfusion catheter, which is designed to remove blood clots.
What is a Pulmonary Embolism?
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot causes a blockage in an artery in the lung. Blood clots commonly come from the legs; they can also come from other parts of the body. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition and must be treated quickly.
Once the high-risk period is over, which is usually around a week, the blood clots in the lung require months or even years to resolve. It is common for people to develop pulmonary hypertension as a result which has life-long implications, including exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, and low energy.
Signs of pulmonary embolism include chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeat, fever, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and clammy skin. If you have any concerns, then you should contact a medical professional immediately.
Unfortunately, consumers of port catheter devices may be at higher risk of pulmonary embolism, due to the formation of blood clots. The risk is especially high if a defective or faulty device is used. In recent years certain models of catheter devices have been recalled due to degradation, causing issues such as fracture, dislodgement, and migration. These complications can lead to blood clots, causing serious and preventable injury and death.
What is Catheter-Related Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (VTE), also known as venous thromboembolism, or deep venous thrombosis, can occur where the catheter is placed. The condition occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins, usually in the lower leg. A pulmonary embolism occurs when part of the clot breaks away and travels to the lungs. Thrombotic complications from a catheter are risk factors for pulmonary embolism and require quick medical attention.
How Can a Defective Catheter Device Cause Blood Clots?
The catheter must be robust to be safe for consumers. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been an increase in reports of device failure. Device failure occurs when the catheter begins to degrade and fracture.
These fractured pieces break loose and enter the bloodstream; the foreign bodies irritate the vein wall and can trigger an immune response which leads to blood clots. These blood clots can then travel to vital organs and have the potential to cause serious internal injury.
An IVC filter, which is a type of catheter designed to remove blood clots, can also cause a pulmonary embolism if defective. If the filter fails to catch a blood clot, it can lead to an increased risk of serious complications.
Who is Liable for Catheter Injuries?
When a catheter fractures and causes blood clots or pulmonary embolism, it is often the product manufacturer who is liable. Medical device manufacturers owe a high duty of care to their consumers, meaning they must take reasonable measures to make sure that their devices are safe for their intended use.
Although catheters are subject to wear and tear from the constant moving of bodily tissue near the device, most manufacturers reinforce their devices to make sure that they can withstand use.
Some medical device manufacturers failed to implement proper safety precautions, putting their consumers at risk. When this happens, and consumers are injured as a result, they may be able to claim compensation in a product liability lawsuit. A catheter injury lawyer, such as those found at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC.
Recall of Bard PowerPort and Bard MRI Implantable Port
Bard has come under scrutiny over its implantable port devices, and in March 2021 they issued a voluntary recall of two of its devices – the Bard PowerPort and Bard MRI Implantable Port. Numerous consumers of these devices experienced catheter failure due to flex fatigue, causing the device to degrade, fracture, and migrate.
Unfortunately, Bard did not act quickly to recall its devices, it took aggressive action from victims and their attorneys before their concerns were properly addressed. Initial reports were blamed on medical malpractice, but as cases increased, it became clear that the problems were a result of the devices themselves.
Preventable injuries from Bard devices have included:
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Venous thromboembolism
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Cardiac Punctures
- Damage to blood vessels
If you or someone you love suffered an injury from a Bard device, then you may be owed compensation for all of your expenses related to the injury, as well as compensation for the emotional suffering you have made to endure.
How Much is a Catheter Injury Lawsuit Worth?
The amount of compensation victims receive in a catheter injury lawsuit varies widely and depends on factors such as the severity of their injuries and the quality of their representation.
At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we are committed to securing maximum compensation for our clients. We do that by ensuring we understand both your past and future damages and what emotional impact your injuries have had on your life. Our personalized approach allows us to fight for a settlement that is difficult to argue with.
Potential damages victims can claim with the help of a catheter injury attorney include:
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the legal term for your non-economic damages. After suffering a preventable injury, you are likely to experience a lot of emotional distress and physical pain. Another example is loss of enjoyment; if you are no longer able to live life the way you did before your injury, then this is a non-economic loss.
Pain and suffering damages are tricky to calculate and are often highly contentious. It is important that you have a catheter injury attorney who takes the time to understand your circumstances so that they can build a robust case and secure the compensation you deserve.
After a port catheter injury, the highest economic cost is often medical expenses. If the injuries require ongoing or complex treatment, then costs can quickly exceed the limits of most health insurance policies.
Product liability claims should include compensation for all the medical expenses that result. That includes the cost of past expenses, as well as the estimated cost of future expenses. As victims of defective medical devices, you may have already been facing high medical costs, which can make proving your avoidable costs challenging. Therefore, it is important that your representation is well-versed in product liability involving medical equipment.
Any costs relating to your treatment should also be considered. You should keep a record of any transport costs, childcare costs, and any alterations to your home to cater to your care.
After suffering an injury because of someone else’s negligence, you are likely to experience mounting bills, which is made worse by the fact that you will need to take time away from work. If missing work has resulted in lost wages, then you should be compensated for this. Furthermore, if your injuries are long-lasting and you are unlikely to return to work in the same capacity, then you should also be compensated for future lost earnings.
Losing a Family Member After a Catheter Injury
If you have lost a loved one because of a preventable catheter injury, then you should seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be owed compensation for both your emotional suffering and your economic losses, such as funeral expenses and loss of income to a family household.
Grieving for a loved one after the negligent actions of a medical device manufacturer is traumatic, and fighting a legal battle may be the last thing on your mind. However, at Holman Schiavone Law LLC, we will fight your case on your behalf and will fight fiercely to ensure that you don’t have to suffer financially.
Proving Liability After Pulmonary Embolism Blood Clots Caused by Port Catheter
If you or someone you love suffered a pulmonary embolism or other blood clot injury from a defective catheter device, then it is likely to be the medical manufacturer who is liable to pay your damages.
However, proving liability is no easy task, and medical manufacturers will fight aggressively to limit their liability and avoid paying out victims what they owe. It is, therefore, necessary to have the help of a catheter injury attorney who will investigate your claim, gather evidence and prove negligence.
In order for your claim to be successful, your attorney will need to prove the four elements of negligence.
Duty of Care
Element one is proving that you were owed a duty of care. In cases involving catheter injury, this first step is simple. All medical device manufacturers owe a duty of care to the consumers of their products.
Breach of Duty
Element two establishes that the duty of care was breached. The second step is much more difficult to prove, as it involves proving that there was a deviation from standard practices and that reasonable measures to protect consumers were not taken.
For example, if a manufacturer received reports of device failure and failed to act, then this could be a breach of duty. It is reasonable to expect that a medical device manufacturer would take appropriate action to protect their consumers if they were aware of potential complications.
The third element is proximate cause, which involves proving that your injuries were a direct result of the defective device.
Element four involves establishing which damages resulted from your proximate cause injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages. These damages form the basis of the amount of compensation you will be asking for.
Contact Holman Schiavone Law LLC For a Free Consultation
Product liability claims against medical manufacturers are challenging for a number of reasons. They often have large and aggressive legal teams, and it can be challenging to determine what injuries resulted from negligence when a consumer has a pre-existing condition.
Fortunately, an experienced catheter injury attorney at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, is prepared to help. We are uniquely experienced in handling these types of cases and will ensure that we gather all the available evidence to build a robust case.
We believe that victims of product liability deserve full compensation that is representative of their injuries. We also believe that medical manufacturers must be held to high standards and are willing to litigate against them if necessary.