Bone reconstruction and replacement surgeries are increasingly common in the United States as medical science advances in its offerings to patients with degenerative or traumatic bone injuries. Arthroplasty is a broad term addressing the replacement, realignment, or manipulation of a joint in the body and bone cement, marketed by several medical device and surgical instrument producers in different forms, is used in almost every arthroplasty. Many bone cement products are chemically related (or identical) to what most people know as Fiberglas, and while in most bone cement implantations for arthroplasty patients are fine, some cases turn catastrophic for patients. If you have been injured because of bone cement, please call one of our experienced North Carolina and South Carolina injury lawyers today. We have the legal experience and knowledge to help protect your rights in these cases.
Bone cement implantation syndrome is a rare surgical complication, but it is one of the most fatal among in-operation health events. The syndrome is characterized by an extreme drop in blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias (an abnormal rhythm of the heartbeat), slow blood flow, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation to certain regions of the body), and cardiac arrest. Each surgical case is different, and few research inquiries into bone cement implantation syndrome have identified patient characteristics that increase the likelihood of BCIS. As early as 2002, however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several warnings about the potential dangers of bone cement leakage into the bloodstream. One commonality between BCIS cases is the surgeries themselves employing bone cement products.
The condition is rare, with only 1 in every 2900 hip replacement patients experiencing this toxic catastrophe on the operating table and fewer cases occurring for other forms of arthroplasty. Still, a pattern is evident. Our experienced North Carolina and South Carolina product injury lawyers, along with our national co-counsel are working to help the victims of BCIS and their families recover from their injuries and collect the financial benefits to which they are entitled.
In the last decade, a series of cases have surfaced implicating surgeons and medical device companies in the use of unapproved bone cement products in arthroplasty without the explicit consent of the patient or disclosure to the patient’s family. One high-profile case in 2016 saw the Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Synthes Norian and a Seattle surgeon accused of “human experimentation” after a 67-year-old woman died in surgery for her spine. The surgeon used a bone cement marketed by Synthes Norian after an uncertified, non-FDA-affiliated series of testing, and even though the same bone cement had poisoned a pig on which it was tested in 2002, the product was used anyway. Often, the only way for injured patients or the families of patients who died in surgery to get the financial support to which they are entitled to is seek the assistance of a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer, like those at Grimes Teich Anderson.
Many bone cement implantation syndrome victims miss out on the financial support they could be due, accepting lowball settlements from the major medical device companies that make and market dangerous bone cement products. Without the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney, these overwhelmed recovering patients often miss deadlines for making claims, don’t know all their rights, or succumb to pressure from the corporate lawyers representing medical device companies. Survivors of bone cement implantation syndrome, or family members of those killed by BCIS, should not represent themselves in discussions that determine whether or not they get the financial benefits to which their injuries entitle them. They should instead seek the advice of personal injury attorneys with knowledge of medical device and surgical instrument failure cases to make sure things happen the right way. Call us today, there’s never a fee to discuss you potential bone cement injury case with an attorney at Grimes Teich Anderson.