Surgical Stapler Lawsuits
In 2019, the FDA sent a letter to healthcare providers discussing the alarming number of injuries caused by surgical staples. The FDA statistics show that between January of 2011 and the end of March 2018, there were 32,000 surgical staple malfunctions. During the time period, there were roughly 9,000 serious injuries. Most tragically, there were 366 deaths related to the use of this equipment.
Clearly there is a problem with surgical staples.
These devices have been touted as a way to increase efficiency in healthcare, but we are learning that the risks behind this equipment may have been greater than we thought. While medical malpractice is certainly possible, we are now seeing the increased potential for negligence on the part of surgical staple manufacturers.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been injured by surgical staples, we invite you to call us for a Free Case Review at 1-877-943-9378.
What are Surgical Staples and Why are They Used?
Surgical staples are used during internal and external surgical procedures to close wounds, seal incisions, or bind tissues. They have become popular because they increase speed in medical care and can potentially reduce inflammation.
There are many different types of surgical staples, made from a variety of materials, including plastic, polymer, dissolvable materials, and titanium. They can resemble typical paper or construction staples, have more of a V- or U-shape, or they can be circular in shape, all depending on the specific procedure.
In addition to the staples, there are also different staplers, including large and small models. The main purpose, however, remains the same: to reduce time and make healthcare more efficient.
But unfortunately, surgical staples can have significant malfunctions and could be misused or misapplied. The benefits for at least some of these devices, may not outweigh the serious risks.
How Can Surgical Staples Malfunction?
As the FDA data shows, surgical staples can cause problems. Staples can break, either while they are being placed or after the procedure. They can also cause an allergic reaction, or allow bacteria to cause an infection. Metal and plastic from the staples can even leak into the bloodstream, creating a variety of medical complications.
During the procedure, it’s possible for the stapler to jam, which forces the medical staff to use another way to close the wound or incision. This can delay care and create further complications. The stapler can have too much or too little force, causing excessive damage or failing to close the wound completely. Staples can even be delivered to the wrong location.
From the wrong size to the staple being improperly placed, there are seemingly countless complications and potential malfunctions that can occur.
What Can Be the Result When Surgical Staples Malfunction?
When these malfunctions or misuse occur, there can be a wide variety of complications. If the staples were used during an invasive surgery, for example, there could be internal bleeding, which may occur if the staples are not applied appropriately or if there is a malfunction with the stapling device.
If a stapler fails to fully close the wound or incision, infection and bacteria can occur, causing a variety of complications and medical issues. Internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, and sustained organ damage can all result from this problem. In some cases, the results from a medical stapler malfunction can be irreversible.
Who May be Liable if You Were Injured by Surgical Staples?
Every situation is different, but when it comes to surgical staple lawsuits, there are usually two parties who may be liable for damages:
The Manufacturer: While makers of these devices often try to focus the blame towards operating doctors or staff, there are significant liabilities against manufacturers that are a part of numerous lawsuits.
Medical Providers: There is also the chance that you were injured by medical malpractice. If the surgical stapler and staples were used inappropriately, you may also have a medical malpractice claim. These can stem from a variety of situations, such as using the stapler incorrectly, using the wrong staples, or even using staples when a different solution would have been appropriate.
It’s best to speak with an experienced dangerous medical device attorney to determine if one or both parties may be liable in your case.
Surgical Staple Injuries: A Possible Misrepresentation of the Truth?
One of the overarching issues with surgical staples is a matter of classification. For years, these items have been classified as Class I medical devices, which are simple items that pose little risk. Other Class I devices include gloves and tongue depressors. The issue is that surgical staples and their staplers are not simple devices, and, as the FDA letter shows, they clearly create risk. Essentially, medical manufacturers seem to have used this classification to their advantage, making the devices seem safer than they really are.
The FDA is apparently considering a reclassification of surgical staplers, but that is little comfort to people who have already been harmed by these medical devices.
The Physical, Emotional, and Financial Expenses of Surgical Staples
The physical, emotional, and financial toll that results from a malfunction or misuse of a medical stapler can be overwhelming. If you have been harmed by surgical staples, there are numerous costs, costs for which you may be entitled to compensation.
These include medical expenses, costs that can include treatment, therapy, and recovery support, as well as the costs of pain and suffering.
People dealing with complications from surgical staples are often forced to miss work, so wages loss is a real issue in many cases. Even missed earning capacity can be a significant loss. There is also the loss of enjoyment of life, especially if surgical staples caused a permanent problem for your health, mobility, or wellbeing.
There is even the chance that funeral expenses could be part of a claim if surgical staples are connected to the wrongful death of a loved one.
It’s important to remember that the compensations in a surgical staples lawsuit can include both past and future expenses. You likely have significant costs in past healthcare to recover from a malfunction, but it’s likely that future treatments, therapy, and care will be needed as well. You deserve to be compensated for these costs too.
Get the Support of a Top-Rated Surgical Staple Lawyer
If you or a family member has experienced complications from surgical staples, we invite you to contact West Law Firm today for a Free Consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-943-9378 (WEST), and there’s No Fee unless and until we recover compensation for you.