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Dangerous Drugs and Defective Medical Equipment

Our Attorneys Stand Up to Big Manufacturers

Our law firm wants to hear from you if you or a loved one was harmed by a dangerous drug or defective medical device. We have included general information here about drug injuries and medical device defects. Please click through the links below if you or a loved one was harmed and you need help. Don't see your drug or device listed here? Simply contact us and describe what happened to you. You still may be entitled to compensation.

GranuFlo Lawsuit

Anyone who has received dialysis may have been treated with a product that has an alarming risk of cardiac arrest and death. A German corporation called Fresenius Medical Care, which operates hemodialysis clinics in the United States, is under investigation for failing to warn patients of the potentially lethal risk linked to excessive doses of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte dialysis products. These two products are brand names of dialysates, which are used in thousands of dialysis centers to treat people with kidney failure.

In light of these disturbing conclusions, the FDA has announced a recall of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we are reviewing potential GranuFlo lawsuits for those injured. If you or a loved one suffered GranuFlo or NaturaLyte side effects, contact an experienced lawyer for a free consultation. We can help you arrange a consultation. Call 202-737-4141 to learn about your rights.

Fresenius was aware of the dangers of taking their dialysis products but did not warn patients and doctors until 2012. In an internal memo, Fresenius informed doctors in its clinics of a "significant risk factor associated with cardiopulmonary arrest" linked to its products. Alarmingly, about 75 percent of dialysis patients received GranuFlo or NaturaLyte.

Because many dialysis patients might not even know if they were given GranuFlo (a powder) or NaturaLyte (a liquid), it's important to speak to your doctor if you or a loved one received dialysis.

A study found a flaw in the design of Fresenius' products. The products may contribute to elevated bicarbonate levels in a kidney dialysis patient, which can lead to alkalosis. Alkalosis can lead to several health problems, including low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and even death. Serious GranuFlo or NaturaLyte side effects include:

  • Heart attack
  • Hemodialysis cardiopulmonary arrest
  • Hemodialysis cardiac arrest
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic alkalosis

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Birth Control Lawsuit (Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella)

Thousands of women have filed lawsuits alleging they suffered injuries or side effects linked to the birth control pills known as Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella. Among the claims, the women allege they suffered blood clots or stroke as well as other problems linked to the drugs manufactured by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Barr Laboratories. Yaz and Yasmin are made by Bayer, while Ocella is manufactured by Barr. The court documents allege the drug companies failed to disclose risks.

These newer pregnancy prevention pills contain drospirenone, a synthetic progestin, and are referred to as fourth-generation combination birth control pills.  Older anti-pregnancy medications were manufactured with a different type of progestin and were known as "second generation" combination birth control pills.

In addition to being marketed to prevent pregnancy, the drugs have been used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and moderate acne. Studies conducted outside of the United States have found consumers who take these three drugs face a risk of serious side effects that is double the risk of people who do not take drospirenone-containing drugs.

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Thimerosal or Mercury Poisoning

In a tragic chapter of recent medical history, an ingredient in pediatric vaccines that were part of the standard immunization schedule in the early 1990s included as a preservative a compound that contained mercury. As with lead paint poisoning cases, the fact that these injuries were concentrated among the most young and vulnerable is truly heartbreaking.

This preservative, thimerosal, exposed many children to mercury without prompt detection. While the use of this ingredient was phased out by 2002, the symptoms of mercury poisoning continue to emerge as the extent of damage in individual victims becomes clear.

Mercury poisoning is a grave health threat. Many who received vaccines containing thimerosal have suffered brain inflammation, a condition which can lead developmental delays, damage to neurological function, and even symptoms associated with autism.

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Defective Medical Equipment

Defective medical device lawsuits seem to be growing in number. These cases are becoming more common with advances in medical technology.

While any kind of medical equipment can potentially pose a risk to human health, some of the more common devices include hip replacement, prosthetic knees, pain pumps and other medical equipment that can be surgically implanted in someone's body. Over the past several years, many devices have been subject to recalls, sometimes after a patient has suffered serious side effects or died as a result of using the equipment.

The following are some examples of potentially dangerous medical devices that may require representation from an experienced attorney if you or a loved one was harmed:

  • Gadolinium (a chemical often used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI)
  • Guidant defibrillator (device failures were linked to patient deaths)
  • Kugel® mesh patch (surgical mesh that was implanted to repair a hernia)
  • Medtronic defibrillator (device linked to a potentially deadline electrical jolt inside of a patient)
  • NuvaRing® (blood clots linked to the use of this contraceptive ring by women)
  • Shoulder pain pumps (studies link this device to postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis or PAGCL, a condition that can lead to severe damage of cartilage)
  • Stryker hip implant (complications include implant failure and metallosis, leading to severe joint pain and other problems)

If you have experienced problems with any of these medical devices that have been found to be defective, contact us right away.

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DePuy Replacement Hip Implants

Many of the 93,000 DePuy replacement hip implants sold worldwide have failed, according to manufacturer DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson. The components can come loose and damage bone around the implant. Metal fragments have been detected in the bloodstreams of some patients, putting people at risk of metallosis.

In August 2010, DePuy announced a recall of two hip replacement devices:

  • DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System (a total hip replacement system)
  • DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System (a partial hip replacement designed to preserve more bone)

The DePuy replacement hip implant recall is another example of a big company putting profits before the safety and well-being of people who depend on the products to maintain a decent quality of life. Did you or a loved one receive a hip implant after July 2003? If yes, you may be entitled to compensation.

If you are using a DePuy hip implant, you may need to undergo a second surgery. In announcing the hip implant recall, DePuy said more testing and monitoring may be necessary. DePuy announced that one in eight patients who received either of the DePuy hip products needed to have a revision surgery, or second surgery, within five years.

If you had hip surgery after July 2003, contact your surgeon for an evaluation, even if you're not sure whether you were implanted with a DePuy product.

The following are some symptoms that may indicate that you have a defective or malfunctioning hip replacement product:

  • Fractures
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Pain
  • Walking problems

DePuy has posted information about its voluntary product recall on the company website. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has been alerted about the recall.

DePuy may contact you about their hip replacement devices and offer a settlement. We strongly advise you not to sign anything before speaking with an experienced attorney. DePuy may not have your best interests in mind. You may be giving up your right to pursue full compensation!

An attorney at Mike Slocumb Law Firm is prepared to stand by DePuy replacement hip implant clients throughout the entire process. Our firm is ready to look closely at the details of your case and tell you about your legal options, which may include pursuing a DePuy replacement hip implant recall lawsuit.

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Pain Pumps or Infusion Pumps

Studies have linked infusion pumps to dangerous side effects. These medical devices are designed to deliver controlled amounts of fluids or medication to patients. They are commonly used in hospitals, nursing homes and in patients' homes.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued recalls of some pumps due to potentially life-threatening complications.  Side effects from pain pumps include chondrolysis, a painful condition related to damage to cartilage in the shoulder. Post-Arthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL) is another common debilitating condition related to shoulder pain pumps.

Medtronic's SynchroMed II, an implantable system, has been linked to serious side effects, including 14 deaths.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has advised against using intra-articular pain pumps (this refers to an injection into a joint) due to the PAGCL risk.

Over the past several years, hundreds of pain pump lawsuits have been filed, alleging in part that the manufacturer of such devices know or should have known about the PAGCL risks prior to marketing the product. Lawsuits also allege these companies did not adequately warn doctors about the dangers of certain pain pumps.

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Transvaginal Mesh

The transvaginal mesh, a device used by thousands of women, is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Unfortunately, the medical device is linked to serious complications, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One of the most frequent complications reported to the FDA is mesh erosion, also called exposure, extrusion or protrusion.

The surgical mesh was created to hold the pelvic organs in place to prevent POP, which occurs when the organs drop. The mesh also was designed to treat women suffering from stress urinary incontinence, which is involuntary leakage of urine.

According to the FDA, in 2010 there were at least 100,000 POP repairs that used the surgical mesh, and about 75 percent of those repairs involved transvaginal procedures. The FDA reports that the number of transvaginal mesh complications has been increasing in recent years. More than 1,500 reports of adverse events were filed between 2008 and 2010, five times more than the number filed between 2005 and 2007, the FDA reports. The complications are no longer described as being rare, according to the FDA, which warned that follow-up surgeries might be necessary to resolve complications.

The FDA also reported that transvaginal POP repair with mesh does not fix the symptoms or improve the quality of life for women any more than traditional non-mesh repair treatments.

The FDA recommends that women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence speak with a doctor about all treatment options, including those that do not involve the surgical mesh, to understand why the surgeon is recommending the transvaginal mesh. Women who have a surgical mesh should continue with routine check-ups and follow-up care after surgery. And women who had surgery for POP and do not know if they have a surgical mesh should find out from their doctor whether they have the mesh.

Manufacturers of the transvaginal mesh include:

  • American Medical Systems
  • Bard
  • Boston Scientific
  • Johnson & Johnson

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LASIK Errors

Every year, roughly 50,000 people suffer some form of vision complication or loss as a result of laser eye surgery, also called LASIK surgery. Though errors only occur in a small percentage of procedures, the resulting complications can be debilitating.

LASIK errors often come as a shock: patients mistake the absence of traditional surgical techniques (i.e., scalpel, stitches) for an absence of risk. Unfortunately, this is not the case: from equipment malfunction to surgeon error or failure to follow guidelines, injury does occur. Commonly, LASIK error injuries take the form of:

  • Loss of visual acuity
  • Infection of the cornea
  • Surface tissue entering the cornea
  • Loss of the corneal flap after or during the procedure
  • Improper healing as a result of the flap slipping
  • Too deep or too shallow cuts in the flap

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You need to talk to us immediately if you or a loved one suffered an injury from a drug or medical device. If you don't see the drug or device listed on this page, you still may have a case. Contact us and describe what happened. Your consultation is free. There's no obligation. Find out today how Mike Slocumb Law Firm can help.

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