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In the past years, Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been involved in many legal battles due to their faulty transvaginal mesh product. Another issue with a different Ethicon product is now coming to light. Physiomesh, a type of hernia repair mesh created by Ethicon, was recently withdrawn from the market due to its high rates of failure and its association with numerous fatalities. Below, you'll find more information on the device, as well as how the physiomesh attorneys help victims.
Most of the patients who got a mesh implant did so after enduring a ventral hernia. This is a type of weakness in the abdominal wall that results in an opening where organs can push through, thus creating a bulge. To treat such, surgeons can place organs back in their usual position and then sew a mesh over the opening to keep the weakened area closed. When everything went correctly during the procedure, the body would partially absorb the mesh and the hernia would no longer be an issue.
Though the mesh worked for some patients, there are quite a few potential side effects associated with it. The mildest side effects, which almost all patients encountered, were mostly just brief pain or discomfort in the implanted area, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea. The larger problem with the mesh is the risk of very severe health complications. This particular product seems to have more issues when migrating to improper positions and irritating the organs of the body.
For some, the migrated mesh may end up penetrating the bowel and other organs. In other patients, the mesh may have moved out of position or contract until it no longer covers the hernia. This can cause the hernia to reoccur, resulting in infections, intestinal blockage, fistulas and abscesses at the site. Recurring hernias can be very dangerous and potentially deadly as parts of the organs can protrude the hernia, cut off their blood supply and start to result in infected and dying tissue. Another potential issue with the mesh is that it can greatly irritate the body. Large portions of scar tissue can form around the area and eventually spread until organs are bound together by the scar tissue. The scar tissue adhesion can be very painful and impair regular movement and functioning.
Trying to fix the complications of a mesh implant can be very difficult due to its absorbency. For example, a Florida woman had a mesh implant that traveled to a position where it blocked her intestines, yet it could not be entirely removed because part of it was embedded within the abdominal wall. In many cases where the mesh implant goes wrong, patients require multiple surgeries to fix the issue and end up suffering from chronic pain and discomfort.
Though hernia meshes continue to be used for medical treatments, the product created by Ethicon has been particularly problematic. There have been at least 10 deaths and several cases of injury reported to the FDA in association with using the Ethicon mesh. The majority of these deaths occurred from the mesh moving to an area that caused organ puncture or stricture, thus the resulting infection and tissue death were fatal. Due to these issues, Ethicon recalled the product on a global basis in 2016. According to the company's letter, they chose to voluntarily recall it because some studies showed that the hernia recurrence rates were much higher with that particular version of hernia mesh than other comparable types of surgical mesh.
Due to the faulty nature of the hernia mesh product, the company is now involved in many product liability lawsuits. Representatives for victims that were harmed by the mesh, claim that Ethicon failed to properly warn patients about the risks of the product. In addition, there are also claims that the company failed to properly test the product, concealed information about its defectiveness and rushed the mesh into the market without ensuring that it was actually safe.
As of May 2018, there are over 870 Ethicon mesh lawsuits pending. Though these lawsuits are currently in process, the first trial dates are set for Sept of 2019. Given this delay, it may still be a little while before the cases are actually settled. Many of these trials have been consolidated into centralized federal cases due to their similarities. If the claimants win their lawsuits against Ethicon, the company may be responsible for a variety of payments. This may include damages for patient's medical bills, impaired earning ability, time off work, as well as pain and suffering.
If you, or someone you know, has suffered from complications due to a Physiomesh implant, you may be eligible for rightful compensation. To get started on the process, you will need to speak to a lawyer who is experienced in product liability cases. The lawyer will help you gather all the medical information needed to determine whether or not you have a case for a mesh lawsuit. Product liability lawsuits are tough to navigate on your own, but with the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to receive just compensation and proper recovery options for the harm caused by the mesh implant. Contact our firm now if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding your Physiomesh implant. Here, our physiomesh attorneys will help defend your rights.
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