The Bard PowerPort lawsuit is a historic event that has shaped the future of medical device regulation. Hundreds and thousands of patients have used this device in the last two decades in America. The devices were designed to provide intravenous delivery of various fluids or medicines and were initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000.
However, it was soon discovered that these devices were malfunctioning and causing severe injury to patients. This led to an unprecedented amount of legal action against both Bard.
Understanding Bard PowerPort and Its Importance
Bard PowerPort is a device usually used to treat heart failure. It’s implanted in the patient’s chest and connected to veins that lead to the heart. The medicines are then administered through this catheter.
You can think of PowerPort as a vascular access device. It is a part of the huge US vascular access device and accessories market that was valued at $5.2 billion in 2022. These devices are widely used across the world in the healthcare sector.
Its significance in healthcare cannot be overstated, as it offers several critical benefits that improve the overall patient experience and medical outcomes. Here are some things that make such port devices important:
- Patient comfort and convenience: Traditional IV treatments often require the insertion of a needle into a vein, which can be painful and uncomfortable for patients. Bard PowerPort eliminates the need for repeated needle sticks by providing a long-term, implantable access point beneath the skin. This leads to a significant improvement in patient comfort and convenience.
- Reduced risk of infection: Infection control is a top priority in healthcare. Bard PowerPort’s subcutaneous placement reduces the risk of infection compared to external catheters. It minimizes the entry point for bacteria and other pathogens, contributing to better patient safety.
- Enhanced medication delivery: Bard PowerPort is designed for precise and controlled medication delivery. Healthcare providers can administer various medications, including chemotherapy, antibiotics, and other therapeutic agents, with accuracy and consistency, leading to improved treatment outcomes.
- Long-term use: Unlike short-term IV lines, Bard PowerPort is suitable for extended use, making it an excellent choice for patients requiring frequent or continuous treatments. It reduces the need for reinserting IV lines, which can cause trauma to veins over time.
The Emergence of Problems
The Bard PowerPort was seen as a useful device that allows patients with medical conditions to receive treatment at home. It’s designed to be implanted into the chest and connected to intravenous lines. This allows caretakers to administer drugs or fluids without having to go into a hospital or clinic every day.
However, there have been some health concerns around the use of Bard PowerPort recently, leading to the Bard PowerPort lawsuit. Users say that these devices can break or get fractured within the body, putting them at risk. The broken parts can lead to injuries like migration, deep vein thrombosis, damage to blood vessels, etc.
According to TorHoerman Law, many people who have experienced this have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer. They claim that the manufacturer failed to warn them about potential health concerns. Hence, they seek compensation for the manufacturer’s negligence.
Legal Action Begins
The Bard PowerPort is intended to serve as a medical tool, helping healthcare providers deliver treatments efficiently while minimizing patient discomfort. However, reports of device damage and the subsequent health consequences have raised significant alarm among users and the medical community.
In light of these concerns, numerous individuals have sought legal recourse. Lawsuits filed against the manufacturer may aim to achieve various objectives, including:
- Compensation for damages: Plaintiffs may seek financial compensation to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses incurred due to device-related health problems.
- Product recall: In some cases, legal actions may pressure the manufacturer into recalling the Bard PowerPort to prevent further harm to patients.
- Greater accountability: Lawsuits can hold the manufacturer accountable for any negligence or lack of transparency in providing safe and effective medical devices.
- Improved device safety: Legal actions can motivate the manufacturer to enhance the safety and design of the Bard PowerPort and similar medical devices.
According to recent data, around 50 lawsuits have already been filed across the US by August 2023. To ensure the smooth processing and hearing of these lawsuits, the U.S. Judicial Panel has consolidated them into MDL. The order for transferring all lawsuits to MDL was issued on Aug. 8, 2023.
Patient Rights and Advocacy
Patients should be aware of their rights. If you have an implant, it’s important to understand what your options are if something goes wrong. You have the right to ask questions about your treatment and any potential side effects.
Patients shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed about asking questions about their health and doctors should be willing and able to answer them. It’s also essential for patients to know exactly how long they’ll need follow-up care after receiving an implant. Sometimes this can vary depending on the type of implant used.
The Ongoing Battle
The FDA initially recalled Bard PowerPort devices in March 2020. However, the recall was later terminated in May 2022. But despite the termination of the recall, plaintiffs continue their battle for justice. That’s because the users continue to experience the consequences of using this device.
In a recent spate of events, Patrice T. from Missouri faced this problem. She used this medical device in March 2022. It was for chemotherapy to treat a cancer she had. However, she suffered clots because of Bard PowerPort.
Within 3 weeks, she visited the hospital again complaining about neck pain and swelling. When the doctors performed a CT scan, the results showed thrombosis. Hence, she filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers.
The battle still continues, as plaintiffs have selected renowned attorneys like Rebecca Phillips, Adam M. Evans, and Michael Sacchet to co-lead the litigation council. Several other people were selected for various positions to strengthen the fight.
The Bard PowerPort lawsuit is still ongoing. We can only hope that it will set a precedent for other patients who have suffered from medical device malfunctions. Patients deserve to be informed about the risks of surgery and any medical device. This allows them to make an informed decision. If you are not given ample information about any medical device, and it leads to consequences, you can file a lawsuit.