Bard PowerPorts, once hailed as medical innovations offering convenience and reliability for vascular access, have come under scrutiny in recent years. The increasing lawsuits against Bard Access Systems, maker of Bard PowerPorts, prompt inquiries into their underlying causes.
In this article, we delve into why people are suing Bard PowerPorts, exploring common allegations and the legal landscape surrounding these cases.
Understanding the Device
The Bard PowerPort is a central venous access device (CVAD) designed for vascular access in medical settings. It comprises a small, implantable reservoir made of biocompatible materials, typically placed beneath the skin in the chest area.
According to TorHoerman Law, Bard describes its PowerPort as a specialized implanted port device designed to withstand higher injection pressures than conventional ports. This makes it particularly suitable for administering fluids that necessitate rapid injection.
Connected to this reservoir is a thin and flexible catheter. It is inserted into a major blood vessel, typically the superior vena cava, providing direct access to the bloodstream.
The reservoir’s self-sealing silicone septum can be accessed using a specialized needle. This enables healthcare providers to administer medications, draw blood, or deliver treatments without the need for repeated needle sticks.
This technical design minimizes patient discomfort, reduces peripheral vein damage risk, and streamlines medical procedures, making it invaluable in healthcare.
Bard PowerPort complications arise due to issues with the catheter device, primarily stemming from high medication flow rates and the fragility of the tubing. The Bard PowerPort catheter is susceptible to fractures, which can lead to the accumulation of bacteria and a loss of structural integrity.
This combination of material flaws and bacterial degradation can result in catheter breakage. During use, small plastic fragments may detach and enter the bloodstream. These fragments have the potential to puncture blood vessels and delicate organs, including the heart.
Injuries stemming from Bard PowerPorts can vary widely in severity. They encompass a spectrum from relatively minor bloodstream infections to extremely grave complications such as pulmonary embolisms and severe hemorrhages.
Additionally, there is a significant risk of the device migrating from its intended implantation site, which can worsen the potential for harm. These distressing complications have inflicted lasting injuries on some individuals, causing them to endure physical and emotional suffering.
In some tragic cases, these complications have resulted in wrongful deaths, leaving families and loved ones grappling with profound loss and grief.
As of August 2023, numerous patients have filed the Bard Power Port lawsuit seeking compensation for device-related injuries.
To efficiently handle the increasing volume of cases, these legal actions have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) process.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation took action on August 8, 2023, by issuing a transfer order to centralize all Bard PowerPort claims. These consolidated proceedings will be overseen by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona. This will streamline the legal process and facilitate a more organized approach to address the growing number of cases.
Update on Device Recalls
As of the present, there has been no recall issued for Bard PowerPort devices related to potential catheter-related risks. However, it’s worth noting that in March 2020, the FDA issued a Class 2 recall notice for specific models of Bard PowerPort devices. This recall was initiated due to a different issue. This recall advised all healthcare facilities to return the affected PowerPort devices.
In September 2019, the Health Sciences Authority also issued an urgent medical device recall notification. Bard outlined the reason for the recall as an incorrect barb tip on the included catheter in the PowerPort. The communication mentioned that there was a possibility of the catheter becoming dislodged from the tunneler.
They further stated in the same communication that the error was deemed “unlikely to lead to serious injury.” However, it’s essential to note that this recall did not address the concerns related to the integrity of the catheter tubing itself.
The reasons behind lawsuits against Bard Power Ports are multifaceted, often involving complex legal and medical issues. Patients who have experienced complications, infections, or other issues with these devices may seek legal recourse. They aim to hold Bard Access Systems accountable for alleged negligence, defects, or inadequate warnings.
As the legal landscape evolves, these lawsuits underscore the importance of patient safety and proper device management. They also emphasize the need for transparent communication between manufacturers, healthcare providers, and patients.
Consult qualified legal professionals if you have a Bard Power Port-related claim or have experienced device-related complications. Legal experts can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help you navigate the complexities of such cases.