Implanted port devices are important pieces of medical equipment that fulfill various uses. Most commonly, they allow for medicine to be given and blood to be taken without the use of needles, which can otherwise cause a range of problems with repeated use.
However, there are also a range of complications associated with port a cath devices, including device migration, infection, blocked line, and blood clots. All of these complications have the potential to cause serious injury and even death. What’s worse is that many of these complications are entirely preventable, with one of the most common causes being defective devices.
Consumers have a right to expect medical equipment to be of the highest standard. It is essential that device manufacturers take appropriate measures to test and reinforce their products to ensure that they are safe, and if any issues do arise then manufacturers should act quickly to prevent future harm. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and it takes pressure from victims and their catheter injury attorneys before any real change is made.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury because of a port catheter device, then you should contact a product liability lawyer as quickly as possible. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we offer a free consultation where we will assess your case and determine whether we believe you have a valid product liability claim. We will fight tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve while placing pressure on manufacturing companies to recall their products and ensure higher standards in the future.
Contact us today and arrange a free consultation with a catheter lawsuit attorney at 816-320-6108.
Holman Schiavone Law, LLC – Experienced Representation in Missouri and Kansas
Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is committed to representing personal injury victims in Kansas City and the surrounding areas of Kansas and Missouri. Claims against large medical manufacturers require skilled representation; they will have their own legal teams who will fight tirelessly to diminish your claim. They know which attorneys are willing to take them to court if they do not offer a fair settlement and who will not. This is often an important factor in the outcome of your claim.
At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we are always prepared to take a case to trial and have a long history of success litigating on behalf of our clients. We will never back down from a complex case and will always strive for maximum compensation.
Our team of catheter injury attorneys will ensure that both the short and long-term consequences of your injury are considered. Including your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and the long-term effect on your mental health and well-being. We take a personalized approach to the attorney-client relationship and will take the time to understand what impact your injury has had on your life and what settlement is truly representative of your suffering.
Regardless of whether your case involves negotiating a settlement or pursuing a medical device manufacturer in the courtroom, we will do whatever it takes to secure maximum compensation.
What is an Implanted Port?
There are many types of implanted ports and various names of port a cath, including a totally implantable venous access device, port catheter, subcutaneous central venous catheters, and central venous access devices.
The catheter is a thin tube which is usually made of silicone that is soft and flexible; it is usually implanted under the skin of the chest but can also sometimes be implanted into the arm. The catheter tip often enters a vein just above the heart (subclavian vein) or the veins in the neck (internal jugular vein), and the other end connects to the port. The port is a small disk placed under the skin of the upper chest or arm.
An implanted port is used to give medicine, such as chemotherapy, straight into the vein, or to take blood. It removes the need for needles and allows for treatments that last longer than one day. Patients can also go to and from the hospital with them left in. They are most commonly used for cancer patients, oncology patients, and hematology patients. They were previously used for hemodialysis patients but are no longer used due to increased risk of infection.
Central venous catheter insertion is relatively straightforward and a common procedure for medical professionals. Patients are usually given local anesthesia or conscious sedation while they have the device fitted, and then it can be left in for weeks, months, or even years.
What Are The Potential Complications of an Implanted Port?
Around one in three people have some problems with implanted ports, with the most common early complications being infections. Most complications are dealt with without any serious consequences. However, when an injury is because of a defective device, the consequences can be severe.
Potential port catheter complications include:
Some models of port cath devices, such as the Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex, appear to be prone to breakage. Flex fatigue is when the catheter loses its durability due to constant flexing, causing the device to degrade and fracture.
A cracked port can cause loose pieces to float into the bloodstream, harming blood vessels and possibly the heart and other organs. This can cause severe injury and even death.
If a broken piece of the catheter reaches the heart, the patient may need emergency heart surgery. They may also be at risk of pulmonary embolism, a blockage in the arteries of the lung.
Injuries from a broken catheter can be permanent and life-threatening. They are also often avoidable and are usually because the device itself is prone to breakage. If you have suffered an injury because of a broken catheter, then you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Catheter migration or catheter dislodgement is where a catheter becomes dislodged from the port without fracturing. When a catheter comes loose, it can move to other parts of the body; however, when it remains whole, it is usually easier to retrieve and is, therefore, less harmful. Port a catheter migration symptoms include neck, shoulder, and ear pain.
However, there are situations where catheter migration becomes serious, especially in older or more vulnerable patients. Catheter migration can lead to neurological complications, venous phlebitis, and thrombosis, which are potentially life-threatening. Catheter migration is often preventable and due to a defective product.
Intravascular catheter-related infections are the most common complication. It can cause the area around the port to become swollen and painful and can cause the patient to have a high temperature along with feelings of dizziness and breathlessness.
Infections can be due to many reasons, and most infections are easily treated with antibiotics. However, sometimes an infection can be a result of device degradation, causing small fractures in the catheter, which allow for bacteria to build up. These cases tend to be more serious and may require the removal of the device. In the worst cases, an infection can lead to sepsis and even death.
Infectious complications are sometimes a result of a defective device. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of an infection, then you should speak to a catheter lawsuit attorney who can investigate on your behalf.
The catheter line can become partially or completely blocked, making treatment difficult. If a device becomes blocked then medical professionals should be able to clear it, or they may be required to remove the device.
A blocked line can be caused by a variety of issues; one cause of a blocked line is blood clots. Blood clots can travel to other organs, leading to serious internal damage. One cause of blood clots is the fracture of a defective device.
The vein wall can become irritated or inflamed whenever a catheter is put into a vein, leading to small blood clots. Blood clots caused by a catheter are often resolved easily with medicine, but more complicated cases could require the device to be removed.
Blood clots can also travel to other parts of the body, which is where they become serious. Some types of blood clots have the potential to cause a heart attack or stroke, including deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot deep in the vein of the pelvis, leg, or arm, and arterial thrombosis, which are blood clots that form in the heart or brain.
Blood clots can sometimes be a result of a fractured device, in which case, the victim could be owed compensation in a product liability lawsuit.
A pulmonary embolism caused by a catheter is where a blood clot becomes stuck in an artery in the lung, blocking blood flow. It can be caused by catheter disconnection or catheter rupture, both of which are often the result of a defective device.
A pulmonary embolism can cause poor blood flow, leading to damaged lung tissue and low blood oxygen levels, which can damage other organs. The effects are often serious and even life-threatening.
Pneumothorax or Hemothorax
Pneumothorax or hemothorax are conditions where air leaks into the space between the lung and chest wall and then pushes outside of the lung, causing it to collapse. There are many risk factors that can contribute to this, but the catheter type can sometimes be a cause.
Who is Responsible For Port-a-Cath Injuries?
An increasing number of consumers are suffering port-a-cath injuries because of defective devices. When this happens, the medical device manufacturer may be liable for their injuries.
Every injury listed above can be a result of defective devices. It is essential that device manufacturers take appropriate measures to ensure their devices are safe. They should implement safety measures such as reinforcing devices to prevent degradation and should ensure that their devices are properly tested.
Medical device manufacturers have been known to fail in their duty to implement proper safety measures. What’s worse is that there is also evidence that some manufacturers have been made aware of complications and have failed to act, allowing their devices to continue to cause preventable harm.
If a medical device manufacturer can be shown to have acted negligently, and this negligence contributed to your injuries, then you could be owed compensation in a product liability claim.
If successful, you could be compensated for all of your medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for your emotional pain and suffering. Claims against large medical device manufacturers are never easy and require the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer, such as those at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC.
The Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter
The Penumbra Jet 7 Xtra Flex catheter is a device that was designed to remove blood clots in sufferers of acute ischemic stroke. The flexible catheter has a large diameter and is designed for just one use. The catheter attaches to an aspiration pump, which acts like a vacuum.
The Jet 7 Xtra Flex Catheter is inserted into a large artery in the groin which reaches all the way up to the neck and to the blood clot causing the stroke. Using an x-ray or fluoroscopy, medical professionals will monitor the catheter as it moves through the artery. When it reaches the blood clot, it sucks it out to restore normal blood flow; the device is then moved out of the body and disposed of.
Since the first aspiration catheter from Penumbra in 2007, there have been several models of the device. It was considered to be a revolutionary solution, and in the initial years after the device was approved, the vast majority of suction thrombectomy procedures in the U.S used Penumbra catheters.
FDA Warnings of The Jet 7 Xtra Flex Catheter
Soon after the approval of the Jet 7 Xtra Flex Catheter, there began to be reports of device failure. There were cases of the device rupturing or expanding during contrast injection due to a weakening of the catheter tip, causing vessel damage and subsequent injury or death.
The FDA urged Penumbra to inform health care providers of potential risks. Penumbra claimed that issues arose when the device was used incorrectly and that medical professionals should not inject contrast media through the device. However, even after a warning was issued, patient injuries continued to occur.
Recall of Penumbra JET 7 Catheters and Potential Complications
Despite over a decade of complaints, over 200 reports to the FDA over device failure, and 14 deaths, it took until 2020 for Penumbra to voluntarily recall all of its Jet 7 Catheters.
Device failure reports include ballooning, breakage, rupture, and complete separation of the catheter tip, as well as exposure of internal support coils. As a result, consumers suffered injuries such as vessel damage, hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, and death.
If you or someone you love has suffered because of a Jet 7 Catheter device, then you could be owed compensation in a product liability claim. You should contact Holman Schiavone Law, LLC today so that a skilled catheter lawsuit attorney can assess your case and help you seek justice.
Bard is another medical device manufacturer who is facing scrutiny over its catheter devices, including the Bard PowerPort and Bard SlimPort. These catheter devices were designed to withstand high injection pressure so that fluids that require quick injection can be more easily administered to the consumer.
Bard Port Catheter Complications
The Bard PowerPort and Bard SlimPort have both received a large number of complaints over catheter failure. There are an increasing number of cases where the catheter has begun to degrade while in the vein, causing fracture, migration, infection, and other complications.
Injuries reported from Bard Catheter devices include:
- Cardiac arrhythmia.
- Pulmonary embolism.
- Cardiac Punctures
- Blood clots.
- Lacerations to blood vessels.
- Blood infections.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from a Bard catheter device, then it is likely that the device itself was faulty. In this case, you may be owed compensation in a product liability claim.
Proving Liability After a Port-a-Cath Injury
If you have been injured because of a defective medical device, then it is likely that the device manufacturer is responsible for your injuries and, therefore, liable to pay you compensation. However, proving liability isn’t easy and often requires the help of a product liability attorney.
It is very rare for a medical device manufacturer to admit to negligence; and if they did, they may be made to pay out large sums of money to victims. They will fight to limit their liability in any way they can, and so a thorough investigation is necessary to secure strong evidence.
In order to prove that a device manufacturer has behaved negligently, your catheter lawsuit lawyer will need to establish the four elements of negligence.
Element One – Duty of Care
First, it is necessary to prove that you were owed a duty of care. In product liability claims, this element is relatively straightforward. All product manufacturers owe a duty of care to the consumers of their products. They must take reasonable measures to ensure that their products are safe for their intended purpose and that any potential risks are minimized. If there are any potential risks, then it is also essential that they warn consumers.
Element Two – Breach of Duty
Next, your attorney will need to establish that the product manufacturer breached their duty of care to you. A breach of duty of care is a deviation from standard practices; they are actions that are unreasonable.
For example, if a medical device manufacturer were aware of potential complications of their product, but failed to make improvements or recall their device, then this could be considered a breach of duty. A reasonable medical device manufacturer would take steps to protect their consumers if they were aware of potential complications.
Element Three – Proximate Cause
The third element is the proximate cause, meaning you were harmed as a direct result of the breach of duty. This element can be complex in claims against medical device manufacturers, as it will be necessary to establish what injuries you suffered as a result of a faulty device and which injuries you may have suffered regardless.
Element Four – Damages
Finally, your attorney will need to establish what damages you suffered as a direct cause of your proximate cause injuries, such as medical bills and emotional pain and suffering. These damages will also form the basis of your settlement and the amount of compensation you could receive.
What Damages Could I Claim For an Implanted Port Injury?
When determining what damages you are owed in a catheter lawsuit, it is important that both your past and future expenses are considered. A skilled port catheter injury attorney will assess your case and help you fight for maximum compensation.
Potential damages you may be able to claim include:
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering is the legal term for damages related to your emotional suffering; they include compensation for your trauma, physical pain, and loss of enjoyment in life. If your injuries prevent you from doing the same activities you did before; then this should be considered in your settlement.
Pain and suffering damages can be difficult to prove, but at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we take the time to understand how your injuries have affected your life. Our personalized approach allows us to evidence your claims and secure a settlement figure that is representative of your suffering.
Medical Bills and Expenses
If you have suffered injuries from a medical device, then one of your biggest concerns is likely to be your medical bills and expenses. You may have already been faced with bills for your initial injury or illness and are now facing additional financial strain.
You should not have to suffer financially because of the negligent actions of a medical device manufacturer. An experienced attorney will fight to ensure that you are compensated for all your medical bills and expenses, including hospital bills, transport to and from the hospital, childcare while you are recovering, medication costs, and more.
It is also essential that your future expenses are considered, or you could still be left out of pocket. Your catheter injury attorney may need to draw upon expert testimony to determine how much your future expenses are likely to cost you to ensure a fair settlement.
If your injuries have left you unable to work and you have suffered lost wages as a result, then these should be included in your settlement. Additionally, if your injuries are likely to prevent you from returning to the same work, then you could be compensated for the loss of earning potential.
Unfortunately, there have been cases of death in relation to defective port-a-cath devices. If you have lost a family member, then no amount of money can make up for your suffering. However, you should not be left with the financial burden of the wrongful death of a loved one.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to claim compensation for your pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and the loss of income to a family household. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we understand the care and dedication these cases require and will take over the legal battle on your behalf.
Seek a Free Consultation With a Port Catheter Injury Lawyer Today
Medical device manufacturers must be held to the highest standards. If you or someone you love has suffered because of a defective device, then it is essential you secure experienced representation.
Your attorney will get to work quickly to gather evidence and investigate your claims. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we are prepared to go up against large insurance companies and their legal teams and will work tirelessly to secure justice for our clients and protect future consumers from defective medical devices.
We pride ourselves on our approach to the attorney-client relationship. We will take the time to understand your situation and will fight for a settlement that is representative of your past and future expenses as well as your emotional suffering.
We will do whatever it takes to secure compensation in your case and will be prepared to take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be achieved.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.