You Could Be Eligible to Receive Money Damages for your Barbed Suture Injury
Nationwide, instances of small bowel obstruction have occurred when surgeons use so-called barbed sutures instead of traditional stitches. Legal claims can arise when people who have abdominal surgery experience small bowel obstructions and complications after surgeons use barbed sutures. If you or someone you know experienced medical difficulties after abdominal surgery, you could be eligible to receive substantial economic compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and any other losses associated with injuries from barbed sutures.
Parker Waichman LLP has clients who feel pained by the notion that surgeons have written about issues with barbed sutures for several years. In case study after case study, abdominal surgeons discussed issues with barbed sutures causing small bowel obstructions. A problem obviously exists when doctors use barbed sutures. The problem is either with the doctors who are not using them correctly or the sutures themselves.
The medical device defect lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP felt compelled to use their highly developed litigation skills, significant experience, and unbridled determination to pursue financial compensation on behalf of their clients injured by faulty medical equipment. Our clients’ peace of mind comes after successfully pursuing large medical device manufacturers whose carelessness ruins lives.
What Are Barbed Sutures?
Barbed sutures are not new to the medical marketplace and have been in use for over a decade. Barbed sutures are one-directional sutures that have small barbs, like barbed wire, protruding from the main line. A welded loop appears at one end of the suture. The physician uses a needle to close the wound like a traditional suture, but instead of tying knots, the surgeon loops the end through the anchor and pulls the skin tight to close the wound.
The purpose of barbed sutures is to close incisions rapidly and efficiently. These types of stitches are most frequently used in laparoscopic surgeries. Covidien, one of the medical device companies who manufacture barbed sutures, claims that physicians can close incisions 50% faster than they can when using conventional stitches. The barbs hold the skin tightly together making for a more uniform closure and can be absorbed into the skin like conventional “dissolving” stitches.
Doctors frequently use barbed sutures in bariatric procedures. Surgeons use barbed sutures to close incisions in stomach by-pass surgery and stomach-sleeve surgery. The literature accompanying the medical device indicates that using barbed sutures obviates the need to tie knots to hold the stitches tight. The wound closure is therefore streamlined and reduces possible complications from knots in the stitches.
The medical device manufacturers who produce barbed sutures make additional claims as well. They argue that the “tensile” strength of the string is so strong that it is three-times thinner than conventional sutures. Also, the device manufacturer claims that doctors do not need to learn a different procedure for stitching a wound, which is practical for busy surgeons.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to issue a warning or recall concerning the use of barbed sutures. Notwithstanding the FDA’s reluctance to warn surgeons about the possible risks, the Canadian Health Service, Health Canada, issued a warning concerning the use of barbed sutures in abdominal and pelvic surgeries. Health Canada informed physicians that many doctors had reported small bowel obstructions after abdominal surgery.
The problem stems from the barbs themselves. According to Health Canada, the barbs hook into the small intestine even though the end of the suture is cut down. The tag end can involve other surrounding tissue. The barbs pull the small intestine and cause a blockage or obstruction. The barbs may cause a kink in the intestine. The kink prevents fecal matter from passing through the small bowel.
Small bowel obstructions can be painful and could lead to more severe medical problems. Consequently, doctors should try to diagnose the problem as rapidly as possible to relieve symptoms and also prevent further damage.
Symptoms of small bowel obstruction range from a sensation commonly described as “cramps” to more severe indicators such as vomiting and the inability to pass stool. Fever and a rapid heartbeat may be present as well. However, those symptoms are typically present when the small bowel is in a state of “strangulation,” which is a severe complication.
Health Canada reviewed the medical literature and found 27 cases of barbed sutures causing small bowel obstruction after abdominal or pelvic surgery. The time frame for the complication to manifest itself varied from case-to-case. In one instance, the patient experienced problems the next day. In another case, the patient received the diagnosis of small bowel obstruction some four months after the operation. The average length of time was 18 days from surgery to the diagnosis of obstruction.
Unfortunately, additional surgery is the only way to correct the problem. Further surgical procedures can cause greater health complications. Patients can suffer from severe adverse effects from surgery due to sensitivity or allergy to anesthesia, the necessity of taking more opiate-based painkilling medication, blood loss, and the threat of blood clots. Patients can die from cardiac events while in surgery as well.
The barbed suture devices which are used most frequently, according to Health Canada, are:
- Covidien “V-Loc 180 Wound Closure Devices, lots numbers 81056, 85189, 89650, 90982
- Surgical Specialties Mexico Quill Knotless Tissue-Closure Devices, lot numbers 79116, 87496, 87896, 90848, and
- Stratafix Spiral Knotless Tissue Control Devices from three different manufacturers.
Let Parker Waichman LLP Assess Your Barbed Suture Claim
Parker Waichman LLP employs medical device defect attorneys who consistently deliver successful results for their clients. They are in an excellent position, based on their substantial experience and training, to advise you if you have a viable claim. They will assess your situation and determine if you have a claim for damages. Your claim could be against the medical device manufacturer who failed to produce a safe and effective barbed suture. Your claim could also be brought against the physician for malpractice as well, depending on the facts of your specific case. Your barbed suture defect lawyer from Parker Waichman LLP will also be able to draw on his or her significant experience to estimate the value of your claim based on your medical bills, future medical costs, economic damages, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
Medical device claims are very complicated legal matters. They involve negotiating with powerful and influential insurance companies whose sole purpose is to keep costs, i.e., settlements, down while maximizing their profits. Additionally, they hire expensive law firms to represent them. The insurance defense attorneys want nothing more than to drive up their firm’s bills and drag out litigation. Furthermore, medical device litigation requires the use of expert witnesses who will explain what happened and why. That is why medical device litigants need seasoned medical device litigators like those from Parker Waichman LLP. These cases are simply too complicated, and there is too much at stake to try to take these large medical device companies on alone.
Some people believe that “doing it yourself” is a way to save money. The fact of the matter is people who try to represent themselves lose money. Parker Waichman LLP never charges a fee for their representation unless they are successful on your behalf. They will provide all out-of-pocket costs of litigation and will not ask for any money from you.
Choose Parker Waichman LLP for Your Barbed Suture Bowel Obstruction Lawsuit
The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have recovered over $2 billion in damages for their clients. Additionally, the firm’s peers have bestowed upon Parker Waichman LLP numerous awards and accolades for the quality of representation and the reputation of the firm in the legal community. Why would you trust your claim to anyone else?
Call Paker Waichman LLP’s Barbed Suture lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation. Call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to schedule yours today. We are here 24/7 for you and your family. Time is limited, and you must act now to protect your rights.
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