January 21st, 2017
Complications from transvaginal mesh procedures have been in the public eye since the late 2000s. Claims that the procedure was not properly tested before it was marketed to doctors and physicians have led to over 100,000 lawsuits against device manufacturers from women who experienced serious complications following the use of transvaginal mesh. If you have had a procedure that used transvaginal mesh and experienced painful complications, discuss your situation with an attorney.
Complications from Transvaginal Mesh
Transvaginal mesh is used to give better suspension to the tissues in the vagina, to prevent the bladder, uterus or rectum from descending from the vagina – a condition called pelvic organ prolapse. The mesh essentially reinforces the existing native tissue in the vagina to provide better support.
Doctors introduced the procedure in the early 2000s to replace a previous procedure that had a high failure rate. However, transvaginal mesh was introduced so quickly that it wasn’t properly tested for long-term results. At the time it went on the market, there was no long-term data or clinical trials.
Women started complaining of pain, bleeding and erosion from transvaginal mesh. In some cases, the mesh can move from the vaginal wall to other organs causing serious issues. The FDA released warnings in 2008 and 2011, and in 2014 it reclassified transvaginal mesh procedures from moderate-risk to high-risk.
Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Lawsuits against device manufacturers started to appear in the late 2000s. In January 2016, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $120 million settlement, settling up to 3,000 lawsuits with over 42,000 still pending against the manufacturer of one popular transvaginal mesh product. The plaintiffs claim they suffered organ damage and were left in constant pain because of the product, and allege that it was poorly designed and poorly tested.
Johnson & Johnson is just one of several device makers who are embroiled in product liability lawsuits. If you have been harmed by a transvaginal mesh procedure, you could be due compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages and more. Discuss your situation with an Arkansas transvaginal mesh attorney to determine if you are one of the tens of thousands who has been affected by this product.
January 5th, 2017
Knee replacement surgery is a very popular procedure for aging Americans. According to the New York Times, more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries were performed in 2012. While it’s normal for knee replacement components to show signs of wear over time, defective components break down much quicker, causing pain, discomfort and corrective surgery in patients.
Signs of a Failing Knee Replacement Component
Because the demand for knee replacement surgeries has risen over the last 15 years, manufacturers have rushed to keep up with the need for product. As a result of this, poorly designed devices have been rushed to market, and these devices can break down quicker than the industry norms. Some signs that components in your knee replacement are breaking down include:
- Pain: Pain can begin as a mild soreness, reaching severe pain
- Mobility issues: As components break down, you could find your joints less mobile
- Swelling: Fragments from broken components can cause joints to become irritated and swollen
- Instability: When a knee replacement is no longer working as designed, the joints may become instable
- Warmth of the joint: The joint may feel warm due to swelling and irritation
Loosening of a Knee Replacement
Loosening is a common complication as knee replacements wear down and implant components separate from the bone. Some loosening is normal over time, but in poorly designed devices it can happen quicker.
One product manufactured by Zimmer Holdings, the NexGen CR-Flex, is associated with hundreds of adverse events from loosening components. It has been shown that the product can deteriorate in just one year.
Contact an Arkansas knee replacement lawyer if you feel your knee replacement is defective and has deteriorated quicker than it should or caused unnecessary complications.
December 24th, 2016
The Mirena IUD is a popular long-term contraceptive device manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. An intrauterine device (IUD) is a “T”-shaped device that is implanted in the uterus, slowly releasing a birth control hormone and protecting against pregnancy for up to five years.
The IUD is one of the most popular forms of birth control. An estimated 150 million women use the IUD, and some of these women have filed lawsuits after experiencing harmful effects from the device.
Health Risks from Mirena IUDs
The Mirena IUD has been associated with some dangerous side effects like perforation of the uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus).
Perforation of the uterus occurs because the Mirena IUD has a tendency to move from its location in the uterus, sometimes through the uterine wall, to other parts of the body. Once the device has migrated from the uterus, it can damage other organs in the pelvis and intestinal cavity. After it’s migrated, it can also be difficult to find and remove, requiring multiple surgeries to remove.
Mirena IUD Lawsuits
Some women have pursued legal action against Bayer Pharmaceuticals for the complications experienced with the Mirena IUD. Their complaints accuse Bayer used misleading marketing to sell their product, produced a defective product and that Bayer didn’t reveal the dangers of the product when they were aware of them, or properly label the product with the dangers.
An experienced Arkansas Mirena IUD attorney can help you determine if you should consider filing a legal claim. Women who have been injured by the Mirena IUD could be due compensation for health expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney.
December 20th, 2016
Hospitals have used forced-air warming blankets for nearly 30 years to help regulate patients’ body temperature during orthopedic surgery. During surgery, almost everyone goes into a hypothermic state in which they lose heat faster than the body can produce it. Even mild hypothermia can prolong recovery from surgery, which is why this special type of blanket was introduced.
The blankets work by forcing warm air through a disposable blanket, with the intention that it spreads evenly around the patient’s body. The blankets are supposed to help patients, but in some cases, the blankets can actually lead to severe infection.
Dangers of Forced-Air Warming Blankets
One of the concerns of forced-air warming blankets is that they may allow bacteria to enter the surgical site, most notably during hip replacement or knee replacement surgeries. The blankets seem to be most harmful during orthopedic surgery or surgeries involving implants, when there already exists an increased risk for contamination of the surgical sites.
A study published by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that forced-air warming results in a significant increase in the number of particles over the surgical site. This is of concern because bacteria can attach to the particles, spreading infection.
Even the inventor of the Bair Hugger warming blanket, the most ubiquitously used brand, has denounced the safety of the blanket, saying in a New York Times article in 2010, “I’m very proud of the old technology, but I am also proud to spread the word that there is a problem.”
Forced-Air Warming Blankets and the Law
Lawsuits have been filed against Bair Hugger and its manufacturers 3M and Arizant, claiming that they were aware of the dangers of the device, but did not provide warning to healthcare providers or patients. If you were harmed by a forced-air warming blanket, whether you experienced a severe infection or burn, contact an Arkansas personal injury attorney to see if you’re eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
(Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:407-10)
December 13th, 2016
A morcellator is a surgical instrument that allows for the removal of large masses of tissue, while at the same time being minimally invasive. It’s commonly used in hysterectomies, uterine fibroid removal and other gynecological surgeries, however there is a concern that morcellators can spread undiagnosed cancer, and the FDA has discouraged the use of it for certain uterine procedures. Women who have found they have cancer after a morcellator procedure have filed lawsuits against device manufacturers for negligence.
Development of Uterine Cancer
According to the FDA, one in 350 women may be at risk for cancer development following a surgery in which a morcellator was used. This happens when the patient has undiagnosed cancer, which spreads after the surgery.
In 2014, the FDA discouraged doctors from using morcellators in women undergoing fibroid removals or hysterectomies because of fibroids. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that can grow in and around the wall of the uterus or womb, however, the fear is that if there is actually undiagnosed cancer, it can easily spread due to the procedure.
Recalls and Black Box Warning
Following the FDA’s announcement in 2014, Johnson & Johnson pulled three of its morcellator devices in a worldwide voluntary market withdrawal. In the same year, the FDA recommended that morcellator manufacturers add a black box warning to the product’s packaging warning that laparoscopic power morcellators could spread cancer.
Women and their families have filed lawsuits against morcellator manufacturers alleging that patients were not properly warned of the risks and dangers of the products.
Product liability lawyers who are experienced with Big Pharma can help assess the complicated legal process of bringing a claim against a morcellator manufacturer. Contact an Arkansas morcellator attorney if you have faced health problems following a hysterectomy, fibroid removal or other uterine surgery.
December 6th, 2016
Benzene is one of the 20 most widely used chemicals in the United States, and is classified as a Class A carcinogen by the EPA. It’s a colorless and sweet smelling chemical that evaporates quickly when exposed to air. Used in oil refineries, chemical plants and rubber factories, exposure to the chemical is linked to blood disorders like leukemia.
Benzene exposure is essentially unavoidable in everyday life. It’s in the air around gas stations, it’s a contaminant in tobacco smoke, it’s in motor vehicle exhaust, and it’s emitted from many industrial factories and even leaks from underground waste sites. In low levels, it’s not dangerous, but for those frequently exposed to high levels of benzene, there can be harmful consequences.
Symptoms of Exposure to Benzene
The most common exposure is inhalation, since benzene is found in outdoor and indoor air. People working in industries that use benzene have the highest exposure rate and are the most likely to develop a benzene-related illness. Look for these signs of exposure to high levels of benzene:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- At very high levels of exposure, death can occur
If someone is exposed to benzene regularly for a year or more, benzene can have harmful effects on the bone marrow and decrease red blood cell counts. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that long-term exposure to benzene can lead to deadly blood disorders like:
- Myelogenous leukemia
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Aplastic anemia
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Someone who has experienced an illness from benzene exposure might be entitled to compensation from benzene manufacturers or their employer for failing to warn of the dangers of the chemical. Consult with an Arkansas benzene Lawyer to determine if you have a lawsuit.
December 3rd, 2016
An endoscope is a small video camera that can enter a patient’s body to screen for diseases or treat existing conditions, and over 19 million people undergo an endoscopic procedure every year. One type of endoscope, a duodenoscope, has been connected with spreading a dangerous, and sometimes deadly antibiotic-resistant infection.
If you have an infection from an endoscope, you should be treated immediately and carefully monitored. Upon recovery, you should know that you could be entitled to compensation.
Symptoms of a Superbug Infection
The infection spread by the duodenoscope is classified as a superbug. A superbug infection carries the same symptoms as a regular infection, however, treating a superbug infection is very difficult because it’s resistant to antibiotics and typically appears in people who are already ill. Doctors typically use older antibiotics or a combination of drugs to treat the infection.
Any unusual signs following an endoscopic procedure should be carefully monitored and considered serious. The below signs could signal a very serious infection:
- Severe urinary tract infection
- Septic shock
- High fever
- Severe pneumonia
Endoscope Infection Lawsuits
Upon returning to health, you may qualify for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Affected patients have filed lawsuits against makers of duodenoscopes, including Olympus, Pentax and Fujifilm, for a faulty product design. An Arkansas endoscope infection lawyer can offer legal guidance and explain what options are available to you.
December 1st, 2016
Asbestos exposure is very dangerous, claiming the lives of 10,000 Americans every year. If you were exposed to asbestos in the past or recently, take proper precautions to watch for developing symptoms of mesothelioma or asbestosis.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a material used as a fire retardant in a variety of products like roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceilings, cement compounds and automotive parts. Industrial mining of asbestos began in the late 1800s, and the material soared in use during World War II in a variety of military products.
By the 1970s, it was clear asbestos had dangerous health effects, at which point hundreds of thousands of people were already exposed to it. The use of asbestos declined sharply after the late 1970s, however, 30 million pounds of the product are still used each year in the United States.
When asbestos is disturbed, tiny particles are released into the air. When inhaled, the tiny fibers can become trapped in the lungs and stay there for years causing mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other lung problems like asbestosis.
Are You Showing Symptoms?
If you are showing symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, go to an asbestos specialist immediately. If there isn’t an asbestos specialist in your area, see a thoracic oncologist, which is a doctor that specializes in cancers of the chest.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Dry cough or wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Respiratory complications
- Pain in the chest or abdomen
- Pleural effusions
- Muscle weakness
If you don’t show symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, but have been exposed to asbestos, be sure to schedule regular checkups with your physician and always discuss your exposure and any tests that might be needed for diseases. Keep note if you start to develop any of the above symptoms, and schedule an appointment with your doctor if you exhibit any of them.
Little Rock Asbestos Attorney
Asbestos claims now number in the millions and class action lawsuits have been surfacing since the 1960s. If you live in Arkansas and have been exposed to asbestos, contact a Little Rock Asbestos Attorney to understand your legal rights in an asbestos claim.
November 24th, 2016
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are used in people recovering from accidents or surgery to catch blood clots before they reach the lungs. The small, cage-like device is inserted into the largest vein that takes blood to the heart and lungs. While doctors use IVC filters with the best intentions, the metal device can cause serious issues like perforating veins and organs, migrating from its location, and breaking.
Who Needs an IVC Filter?
IVC filters are inserted into people who have been in a serious accident or have had major surgery and are thus at a greater risk for blood clots during recovery. They’re used in patients who can’t take blood thinners, like people who have just undergone a major surgery and are at risk for uncontrolled bleeding. The filters are inserted via a catheter into the inferior vena cava vein. Retrievable devices are removed the same way.
There are two types of IVC filters: permanent and retrievable. Retrievable filters are used for short-term protection, for example, when someone is recovering from surgery. Retrievable IVC filters are intended to be removed when the threat of a pulmonary embolism has passed.
Unfortunately, retrievable filters are the type that is most associated with risks. After concern that retrievable devices were being left in patients too long, the FDA updated their recommendations in 2014 that the device is removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation in patients in which the threat of pulmonary embolism has subsided.
Complications from IVC Filters
In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration* announced a safety alert after receiving 921 reports involving complications with IVC filters between 2005 and . Thirty-five percent of the adverse events reported involved device migration. Other complications included damage to veins, failure to stop blood clots and breakage.
If you have an IVC filter, make sure you talk to your doctor about what type you have received. Discuss the benefits and risks, and the FDA recommendation for removing retrievable devices after 54 days.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by an IVC filter, you could qualify for compensation. Talk to an Arkansas IVC filter lawyer to find out your legal options.
November 22nd, 2016
While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, injuries from vaporizing, or ‘vaping,’ devices are increasingly common due to overheating lithium-ion batteries. As e-cigarettes grew from a $20 million industry in 2008 to a $2.8 billion industry in 2015, manufacturers jumped at the opportunity to join the growing industry in an unregulated market, turning to cheap lithium-ion batteries manufactured in China to meet the demand.
Injuries from e-cigarettes are not uncommon, however, no federal agency has been tracking data related to the injuries so the total number of reports is unclear. If you have been injured by an e-cigarette, consider a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to determine if you should pursue compensation in court.
How Do E-Cigarettes Injure People?
E-cigarettes deliver nicotine through a heated vapor that the user inhales. A heating element powered by a lithium-ion battery heats and vaporizes nicotine when the user takes a drag from the device. Lithium-ion batteries are supposed to shut down when they start to overheat, but cheap versions can be defective.
When a lithium-ion battery overheats in an e-cigarette, the outcome is very dangerous, causing the device to explode. The injuries from an e-cigarette that overheats can range from harmful burns to the hands and face, fractured bones and even the loss of eyesight.
E-Cigarette Injury Compensation in Civil Court
People who have been injured by e-cigarettes can file civil lawsuits against retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers for negligence in selling a defective product. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in Florida, New York and California already. If you were injured by an e-cigarette, consult with a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer to educate yourself on what compensation is due to you.