National Ethicon Surgical Stapler Lawyers Providing Representation Across the Country
In surgery, the use of surgical staples is frequently implemented to close flesh wounds or surgical openings. In the mix of surgical gore, these tools can seem antiquated or maybe primitive, but they serve a purpose for which modern medicine has not yet found a suitable, widely used alternative. But, like normal staples found at a home and office store, surgical staplers have a tendency to jam, misfire, or incorrectly close. At the computer desk, such a staple may mean loose papers. In surgery, a defective staple could lead to injury, infection, and even death.
A recent investigation discovered that surgical stapler malfunction reports were being swept under the rug, hidden in a non-public database. By hiding these reports away, doctors did not know the risks of the devices they were using in surgery, and patients were unable to give informed consent to all the risks that the surgery entailed. Thousands upon thousands of these negative reports were hidden from view, and dangerous surgical staplers remained in use, allowing for more people to get hurt. Call Greg Jones Law today at (855)566-3752 to schedule a free consultation.
What Are Surgical Staplers Used For?
Surgical staplers were first introduced to the operating room way back in 1908. And though advancements have been made, to be sure, the basic idea and use have changed little over the past century. There are three main types of surgical staplers; straight, circular, and curved. Most staples are stainless steel or titanium and have to be removed at some point. Some staples are made of a copolymer, which dissolves on its own within the body.
Surgical staplers are used during surgeries and procedures such as:
- Gynecological surgery
- Gastrointestinal surgery
- Gastric Bypass surgery (Stomach Stapling)
- Pediatric surgeries
- Bowel surgery
- Urological surgeries
- Lung surgery
- Thoracic surgery (surgery to the neck)
- Cardiovascular surgery (open heart-related surgery)
- High tension areas, such as the scalp or upper torso
How Can Surgical Staples Endanger Patients?
When a surgical stapler malfunctions, the patient and the surgeon may not know anything is wrong until days after the procedure. Faulty manufacturing, defective design, improperly formed staples, misfires, malfunctions, and a lack of warning as to the risks of the use of surgical staplers can cause any number of health issues.
Defective surgical staplers can cause a multitude of issues, including:
- Allergic reactions.
- Anastomotic leak.
- Bowel leakage.
- Digestive issues.
- Failure to properly embed staple.
- Leave holes but no actual staples.
- Leave open wounds.
- Need for additional corrective surgeries.
- Newly occurring nutritional deficiencies.
- Prolonged surgery time.
- Tissue and organ tears.
- Wounds reopening.
What Surgical Staplers Have Faced Lawsuits or Recalls?
In recent years, new independent research has been done into surgical staples, finding them to be more dangerous than previously believed. Not long after, the FDA began enacting stricter regulations on surgical staplers, despite medical device manufacturer protestations that they already kept their products to the highest standards. Ethicon, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, is the country’s primary manufacturer of surgical staplers. The surgical staplers of Ethicon have been linked to incidents of injury and death.
Surgical staplers that have faced lawsuits and/or recalls include:
- Ethicon Echelon 60mm staplers
- Ethicon Endopath staplers
- Ethicon ECHELON Endoscopic Linear Cutter
- Ethicon ECHELON Flex 60 Powered Plus Compact Articulating Endoscopic Linear Cutter
- Ethicon ECHELON Flex 60 Powered Plus Articulating Endoscopic Linear Cutter, 44cm Shaft Length
- Ethicon ECHELON Flex 60 Powered Plus Articulating Endoscopic Linear Cutter, 34cm Shaft Length
- Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Intraluminal Stapler with Adjustable Height Staples
- Ethicon Endo-Surgery Endoscopic Curved Intraluminal Stapler with Adjustable Height Staples
- Medtronic Endo GIA AutoSuture staplers
- Medtronic Endo GIA Articulating Reloads staplers
The American government has recalled approximately 100,000 Ethicon surgical staplers.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
We hope we never need surgery, but sometimes surgery is the only thing that can save us. So, it is frightening to consider that many medical devices are made with defects that make the surgeries themselves more of a risk to the patient. Surgical staplers are a device that is known to be faulty, causing injury, infection, and, in some cases, death. The evidence shows that some medical manufacturers knew of and covered up reports of these incidents, much to the detriment of future patients in need.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of defective surgical staples, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Should the fault rest on the shoulders of manufacturers who knew the dangers of their device but failed to properly take precautions for patients, they may be held liable. Recovered compensation could go a long way towards medical expenses and the cost of living with new, undeserved injuries. The law firm of Greg Jones Law has attorneys with experience arguing cases against the manufacturers of defective medical devices. Some surgical stapler cases have resulted in settlements in the millions of dollars. Call Greg Jones Law today at (855)566-3752 to schedule a free consultation.