Port Catheter Lawsuit: Exposing the Implanted Port Issues

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Product Liability, Medical Devices

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Are you aware of a port catheter lawsuit? Or maybe you’re just trying to figure out what this lawsuit is all about? Anyway, this blog will guide you through the port catheter problems and recalls, as well as the port catheter lawsuits.

Whether you’re a patient turned plaintiff, a worried family member, a curious onlooker, or even a law professional seeking to broaden your knowledge, this blog is just for you. Let’s see more about the powerport lawsuits from this blog.

What Is a Port Catheter?

An implanted port device is known as a port catheter, or port-a-cath. A port a cath placement is often performed under the skin of the chest. A small reservoir known as a port is connected to a thin catheter that goes inside the vein. To make it simple to put the drug into the catheter, a part of the catheter could remain outside your body.

Injectable fluids, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and other medications are administered through a port-a-cath. What does a port look like under the skin? The object appears to be a disc about the size of a quarter, connected to a flexible tube.

When you are not receiving any treatment, the catheter is clamped or sealed to keep it shut. Blood samples may also be collected through it. A port-a-cath can be left in place for a long time, lessening the need for frequent needle pricks. Catheters come in different types, and they function similarly.

port-catheter-lawsuit-picture-showing-port-catheter-insertion

Common Manufacturers of Port Catheter Devices

  • Bard
  • Smiths Medical
  • Teleflex
  • Angiodynamics/Navilyst

Implanted Bard Power Port Problems

One in three people experience issues with their implanted ports. The issues include:

  • Port Catheter Breakage

In some cases, the catheter itself may separate or migrate to other body areas, which can lead to major difficulties. Flex fatigue occurs when a catheter loses its strength through repeated bending, which leads to the device deteriorating and breaking. If shattered fragments of the catheter enter the heart, immediate cardiac surgery may be necessary to remove the shards.

Additionally, this increases the chance of pulmonary embolism, a blockage of the lung arteries, and vascular damage. If you were hurt due to a damaged catheter, you should contact a port catheter lawsuit attorney immediately.

  • Port Catheter Migration

When a catheter slips out of the port without breaking, it is known as catheter migration. A catheter can spread to other body areas when it comes loose, but it is typically simpler to remove when it is still intact and less dangerous. Migration can happen on its own or in conjunction with a catheter fracture.

Catheter migration can become problematic in elderly or more delicate patients. Pain in the neck, shoulders, and ears are common signs of catheter migration. Additionally, neurological problems, venous phlebitis, and thrombosis could be potentially fatal when using the catheter to provide medication.

  • Risk of Infection

Some port catheter materials have flaws that can penetrate bacteria and other diseases through the catheter over time as its durability declines. This results in catastrophic consequences since port-a-caths are routinely put in patients who are already immunocompromised, such as those with cancer and other health conditions.

Numerous factors might cause infections; however, most infections are easily treated with medications. However, sometimes bacterial growth is facilitated by device deterioration, which results from breakage in the catheter. These situations are frequently more serious, and the device might need to be taken out.

Injuries Associated with Port Catheter

Can catheter cause damage? Catheter failure can result in severe injuries. Some include:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Hematoma
  • Blood clots
  • Severe and persistent pain
  • Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Perforations of tissues, vessels and organs
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Infection
  • Cardiac / pericardial tamponade
  • Necrosis
  • Death

Bard PowerPort

Bard, a producer of medical equipment, is under investigation for its catheter products, including the Bard PowerPort and Bard SlimPort. These catheter devices were made to endure strong injection pressure to simplify providing fluids to patients who need fast injections.

The Bard PowerPort was given FDA approval in 2000 as a port catheter device inserted under the skin to offer long-term and simple access to attach a catheter.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit August 2023

The judges presiding over federal proceedings have made a big decision: people who filed lawsuit against Bard PowerPort will come together in Arizona court by Judge David G. Campbell. This process increases the chances of reaching a settlement where Bard PowerPort pays up for the troubles caused.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update October 2023 

The lawsuit against Bard PowerPort is gaining steam pretty quickly. As of October 15, 2023, there were 62 cases pending in the MDL.

A big group of Bard PowerPort lawsuits will now be consolidated into a New Jersey state court version of an MDL, following the consolidation of some Bard PowerPort lawsuit into a class action MDL in federal court.

On October 18, 2023, Judge Campbell directed the plaintiffs to jointly summit suggestions for protective, electronic discovery, and preservation orders by October 27, 2023. He also ordered that they discuss and agree on the structure of complaints and direct filing orders, along with other cases. The subsequent session is scheduled for November 16, 2023, in Phoenix.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update November 2023 

Judge Campbell conducted the conference in Arizona, at which he issued a master complaint and a short-form complaint, allowing plaintiffs to directly file their case in the MDL. Additionally, he established a case management order outlining deadlines. The discovery phase for plaintiffs to collect evidence  from November 20, 2023, to January 31, 2025. Following this, expert reports will be submitted, with trials expected to start in 2026. As of November 16, 2023 there were 64 Bard PowerPort cases pending in the MDL.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update January 2024 

January 1, 2024: The parties have until the end of this week to submit a joint order pertaining to the preservation of evidence, as per the extension granted by the PowerPort MDL Judge. Additionally, on January 8, 2024, Judge Campbell scheduled a status conference hearing.

On January 8, 2024, a new lawsuit regarding the PowerPort was filed. An infection allegedly resulting from PowerPort isp M.R.I flaws was experienced by a Mesa, Arizona man who had the device implanted in June 2021. In MDL-3081, the Implanted Port case was filed directly. Bard Access Systems, Inc., Becton, Dickinson and Co., C.R. Bard, Inc., and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. are the defendants in the complaint.

Port Catheter Lawsuit February 2024 Update

The case is moving forward with the latest update from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) indicating that there are currently 99 port catheter lawsuits awaiting consolidation.

On February 2024, ongoing discovery proceedings were reported, with both parties scheduled to return to the Phoenix court on March 1, 2024. During this upcoming court session, the progress made in discovery and any disputes regarding discovery would be presented before Judge Campbell. Additionally, Judge Campbell requested that both parties establish a preservation order specifically for port devices that had been removed due to injury.

Port Catheter Lawsuit March 2024 Update

There are 106 cases in the Bard PowerPort Litigation that are awaiting consolidation, showing that there are still legal actions against the manufacturer of the equipment.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update April 2024

The manufacturer has requested a delay, arguing that with many lawsuits yet to come, the Judge overseeing the Bard PowrPort lawsuit won’t delay the selection process for the bellwether trial. Currently, there are 116 lawsuits; more are expected to be filed. After selecting bellwether lawsuits, further discovery will be conducted, likely to start by 2025 or early 2026.

Port Catheter Lawsuits

Patients with PowerPort devices may be more likely to experience major problems or suffer harm as a result of a catheter failure. Here you can see some of the victims:

Patrice Terry

A woman named Patrice Terry, from Missouri, sued the maker of the Bard PowerPort ClearVue Implantable Port after she was injured as a result of it.

She underwent colon cancer treatment and had a single-lumen Bard PowerPort inserted in March 2022.

On April 17, 2022, she complained of neck pain and swelling and was sent to the hospital. Medical professionals performed a CT scan, and they discovered troubling signs of thrombosis (blood clots). Doctors also observed that her Bard PowerPort was ineffective during this time.

She blames the maker of the PowerPort for failing to appropriately inform patients and medical professionals about the danger of blood clots connected to the PowerPort.

According to her Bard power port lawsuit, manufacturing mistakes made when developing the catheter have led to an irregular catheter surface replete with fissures, pits, and cracks.

The complaint asserts that the catheter’s rough surface significantly increases the risk of blood clots and thromboembolisms.

On February 10, 2023, she filed a case in the Western District of Missouri U.S. District Court against Beckton, Dickinson, and Company and C.R. Bard, Inc.

Vincent Anderson

On May 9, 2023, Vincent Anderson from Missouri filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The port catheter lawsuit claims that the Bard PowerPort catheter device was improperly built and led to the development of a serious fungal infection.

In order to receive chemotherapy injections to cure Anderson’s urothelial cancer, he allegedly had the Bard port inserted into his right internal jugular vein in March 2020. But because the PowerPort had contracted a fungemia infection in December 2021, he had to be readmitted to the hospital.

The Bard port lawsuit claims that the danger of infections, deep vein thrombosis, and other problems have increased since the catheter tube is prone to cracking and breaking.

Mary Nelk

On February 28, Mary Nelk from Missouri filed a complaint against the manufacturer of the Bard PowerPort ClearVue Implantable Port.

In February 2021, Nelk allegedly had the device implanted in her right internal jugular vein so she could receive Crohn’s disease-related nutritional therapies. Only a few days later, she needed to visit the hospital due to arm pain, hematoma, and fever. Doctors identified her bloodstream infection and learned that the Bard Powerport was no longer working.

Chronoflex, a polyurethane and barium sulfate blend, is a flexible polyurethane polymer used to make catheter tubes.

Nelk claims in the lawsuit that barium sulfate is known to induce microfractures, deterioration, fissuring, and cracking in polyurethane by weakening the material’s mechanical integrity. According to the lawsuit, Chronoflex production issues caused high amounts of barium sulfate, which exacerbated the issue.

According to Nelk’s lawsuit, “Defendants continued to market the PowerPort as secure, despite their knowledge of numerous reports of thromboembolism and other serious injuries,” rather than altering the design of the PowerPort to make it safer or adequately warning physicians of the dangers associated with it.

Jean Cunningham

On April 24, 2023, Jean Cunningham, from Missouri, filed a lawsuit against Bard PowerPort, claiming that the implant was defectively designed and caused her severe injuries. As a result, she had additional surgeries to replace the catheter.

In October 2015, she implanted the Bard PowerPort to receive her multiple sclerosis medications. In May 2018, she was readmitted for chest pain and infection. The port a cath lawsuit alleges that she was left with permanent disabilities due to the fracture in the Bard PowerPort catheter.

She joins the emerging number of victims suing Bard PowerPort, claiming that the tube increases the risks of infections.

Plaintiffs in a variety of Bard PowerPort lawsuits claim that the makers of the implanted port device knew or should have known about the high incidence of catheter fractures, migrations, and infections that were recorded among people using the device soon after it was released in 2000.

Recall of Port Catheter Devices

A recall of port catheter devices from multiple manufacturers has recently happened.

Bard Power Port Recall 2021

Bard announced a Class II recall in March 2021 for their Bard PowerPort catheters due to the risk of catheter malfunction. When Bard PowerPort catheters are used in operations, there have been reports of severe injuries, including vascular damage and discomfort.

Patients “may experience difficulty in flushing, infusion and/or aspiration, and septum dislodges,” according to the notice.

Patients encountered various issues due to flex fatigue. Flex fatigue led to injuries and the device’s degradation, fracture, and migration. Following additional demands from victims of device failure, the recall was finally issued.

Penumbra Jet 7 Catheter Recall

Penumbra, Inc. urgently and voluntarily recalled all JET 7 Reperfusion Catheters with Xtra Flex configurations on December 15, 2020. According to the recall, the catheter could deteriorate and was linked to more than 200 cases of significant injuries and fatalities. Hemorrhage, vascular damage, and cerebral infarction have all been reported by customers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised all consumers to stop using the recalled products immediately and remove them from their inventories in alerts sent to healthcare professionals on the same day.

The penumbra catheter lawsuits were in early stages. In the United States, around 795,000 people experience stroke each year. Thousands of stroke patients in the US may be impacted by the penumbra jet 7 catheter recall lawsuits.

A penumbra jet 7 catheter lawsuit may be possible for stroke victims who suffered harm from the Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter while having a blood clot removed.

 Arrow MAC Venous Catheter Kit Recall 

Federal safety investigators have issued an Arrow MAC Venous Catheter Kit recall after Teleflex and their subsidiary Arrow International, LLC discovered a design flaw that might result in the catheter connections leaking, posing a number of serious and perhaps fatal health risks to patients.

The FDA has given the recall a Class I classification, meaning it is the most dangerous of its kind and that using the product has a high risk of serious injury or death due to the seriousness of the potential adverse health effects.

Vital-Port Vascular Access Systems Recall

Cook Medical, a medical device manufacturing company, issued a Class II recall notice for the Vital-Port Vascular Access Systems in March 2018. The company issued a recall after discovering that 31,000 Vital-Port Vascular Access Systems could spill drugs or cause serious injury.

Who is Responsible for the Failure of Port Catheter?

Medical equipment must be produced to a high standard at all times. Catheter failure frequently occurs as a result of the implanted port device manufacturer’s negligence. They should put safety precautions in place, such as strengthening devices to stop deterioration and ensure their devices are properly evaluated.

Due to faulty products, consumers are suffering more and more port-a-cath injuries. If the maker didn’t take precautions to improve the quality of the catheter, they should be held completely responsible for any difficulties and injuries that occurred as a result.

People who needed additional port catheter surgery or were hurt by a faulty catheter device have filed port a cath lawsuits. In these iv port lawsuits, the manufacturers are charged with marketing hazardous medical devices, failing to inform doctors of the high failure rates, and postponing life-saving recalls.

You may be entitled to compensation in a product liability claim if it can be proven that the maker of a medical device was negligent and that this carelessness contributed to your injury. Medical records serve as an important piece of evidence in court.

When you file a power port lawsuit, you may anticipate economic and non-economic losses to be compensated. Economic losses also include costs like medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic losses are meant to cover up for the emotional distress and bodily pain experienced by personal injury sufferers.

By reviewing the medical records, an expert can help calculate the costs associated with the injury. Bard Power Port lawsuit settlement amounts include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and even non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

To wind up,

As you continue to look for these port catheter lawsuits, never lose sight of your right to safety and quality care.

We hope this port catheter lawsuit blog has provided clarity, answered some questions, and aroused new ones. After all, every question is a stepping stone to further knowledge. So, as you close this tab, remember you’re not just a reader; you’re an empowered individual on a path to understanding, advocacy, and change.

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MedLegal360 is a specialized author in medical-legal matters, providing clear, authoritative insights on healthcare legislation and personal injury litigation for professionals and the curious.

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