Conceptually, the Bard PowerPort is a fascinating medical device for physicians who attend to patients whose vascular system needs repeated access. The concern with this device is that there are reportedly serious problems with the material used to construct it. These problems have resulted in severe injuries and complications. This blog explains the complications and injuries caused by using a defective Brad PowerPort device.

What is the Bard PowerPort Device?

Before looking at the injuries and complications caused by using the Bard PowerPort device, let us look at what it does.

The Bard PowerPort refers to an implantable catheter device that doctors use to deliver intravenous medicine or fluids to a patient's bloodstream. Also called the BardPort, this device is utilized with medications like chemotherapy. It is manufactured by Bard Access Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Becton, Dickinson, and Company, also known as BD.

The device consists primarily of an injection port, where the doctor inserts the needle to deliver medications and a plastic catheter tubing that conveys the drug to the bloodstream. The port has a raised self-sealing region where the doctor inserts the needle for faster drug administration. The drug then travels via a catheter placed in one of the primary veins that conveys blood to the heart.

The Bard PowerPort device is surgically inserted into patients underneath their skin and stays in them for convenient and repeated conveyance of medication and other products.

BardPort manufacturers advertise that apart from the device providing a more convenient and faster way of drawing blood samples or delivering medication, intravenous fluids, blood products, and parenteral nutrition solutions, its design also resists the higher pressure of the injection. Nevertheless, an increasing number of people are currently reporting severe injuries and filing lawsuits, claiming that the complications caused by the device would have been prevented if the maker had sufficiently disclosed the risks linked to it.

The primary problem is with the device's catheter tube. The tube consists of a polyurethane material called Chrinoflex AL. Most BardPort suits claim this material is defective because of manufacturing and chemical design mistakes.

Complications Linked to The BardPort Device

Injuries and complications arising from using the BardPort device range from slight to severe, per the device’s use instructions. According to the lawsuits, individuals with the BardPort device have reported catheter tube failures. The reports on the device failures are higher than anticipated and point to specific design features that might explain these risks. The most commonly reported complications with PowerPort catheters include the following:

Pinch-Off Syndrome

Pinch-off syndrome is a rare but severe PowerPort complication. It arises when the PowerPort catheter is compressed between the rib and the clavicle, blocking the tube. Pinch-off symptoms might include difficulty drawing blood or passing fluids or medicine via the catheter. The blockage of fluids or medication in the catheter may cause the device to fracture.

If doctors suspect pinch-off syndrome, they will examine the catheter using X-ray images to confirm its existence. If the pinch-off syndrome is severe or causes a catheter fracture, a patient may be required to undergo a surgical procedure to extract the catheter.

Catheter Fractures, Cracks, and Fissures

When you have a plastic tube implanted into your body, and then it wears and tears, the results cannot be pleasant. Considering what the BardPort device is made of, among the most prevalently reported complications associated with its use is the formation of fractures and other life-threatening imperfections on the surface of the polyurethane catheter tube inserted in the body. Because of the weak and brittle catheter tube's nature, supposedly because of design and manufacturing defects, the slight imperfections of the tubing compromise the device's integrity.

According to BardPort lawsuits, tiny pieces of the tube have chipped and flowed into the bloodstream and vascular system in general, wreaking havoc. Doctors and patients have reported vascular damage and severe injuries resulting from the catheter tube fracturing.

Also, per the lawsuits, the fractured or dislodged catheter tubes have led to several severe and possibly fatal injuries, such as cardiac arrhythmia, blood clots, cardiac punctures, pulmonary embolism, hematomas, difficulty breathing, and the tearing of blood vessels.

Should the device fracture, a patient must undergo emergency surgery to extract the device.

Catheter Infections

You may think a minor infection is nothing to worry about. However, when you are already battling to heal from a significant health problem, an infection could be a disastrous complication.

Whereas all port catheter devices have some risk of infections, lawsuits mention that the infection from using the BardPort device developed long after the implant procedure because the design enables bacteria to build around the catheter tube's broken, fractured, or degraded areas. These bacteria may then enter the body, resulting in life-threatening infections.

Infection arising at the site of the injection port is also a common complication linked to PowerPort devices.

Infections caused by the PowerPort device have led to severe complications for patients now pursuing suits and have resulted in delays in crucial treatments for underlying conditions, such as cancer. Common signs of a BardPort catheter infection might include pus or drainage, swelling and inflammation, fever and chills, confusion, and changes in urine odor or color.

Catheter Migration

BardPort catheter migration occurs when the catheter tube implanted into the blood vessel or body cavity shifts from its initial position. According to the filed lawsuits, mistakes in design that make the BardPort catheter susceptible to fractures also make it prone to migration after it is implanted, which could impact the catheter parts.

The unwanted device migration may cause substantial problems, like catheter failure to convey medication, restricted blood flow, organ damage, and infection. As the migration progresses, the catheter tube can cause damage while traveling out of the blood vessels. More severe cases could also result in possible cardiac problems.

Based on how severe the migration is, a patient may have to undergo surgery to extract the device and avert further damage.

The complications a patient experiences are based on their overall health, and the most severe ones are usually rare.

Types of Injuries Linked With Bard PowerPort Use

BardPort device complications have resulted in irreversible damage, injuries, and sometimes death. The most significant and commonly reported types of injuries linked to BardPort catheter complications and failures include:

  • Vascular damage—the Bard PowerPort catheter may tear through or puncture your blood vessels and other tissues. It could also result in infections in the neighboring region where the catheter is inserted. It could even lead to necrosis (the death of the tissue), which is irreversible.
  • Pulmonary embolism—an embolism happens when a piece of a blood clot breaks away and travels somewhere else. The clot may travel to the lungs, stopping and blocking blood flow to an artery in the lung, a condition known as pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism can result in difficulty or painful breathing. If not treated as soon as possible, the loss of oxygen could lead to death.
  • Hemorrhage (bleeding)—as the chipped pieces of the catheter tube flow through the bloodstream, they could rupture and damage blood vessels, leading to bleeding. Based on the location, the results can be fatal if the bleeding happens in an artery that feeds a vital organ like the lungs or brain.
  • Organ damage—one of the most significant injuries caused by faulty Bard PowerPort devices is organ damage. Should a catheter tube fracture, fragments slip into the bloodstream and can rupture or puncture vital organs such as the kidney, lungs, and heart. Issues that may indicate organ damage include urinary changes and abnormal heart rate. Organ damage can lead to unexpected organ failure, which may be hard to treat.
  • Deep vein thrombosis—plastic chips from defective Bard PowerPort devices can lead to blood clot formation. When blood clots develop within blood vessels, it is known as thrombosis, and when the clots are in a vein, the condition is known as venous or deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis can have unforeseeable effects. Should the clot travel to any major organ, it may severely endanger a patient's life. Blood clots are especially dangerous since they might not exhibit many symptoms and side effects from the beginning until their deadly blow.
  • Sepsis—faulty Bard PowerPort devices are prone to bacteria, which can cause infection. Without proper treatment, an infection in the bloodstream can cause sepsis, a life-threatening health condition that impacts the whole body.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia—the term arrhythmia refers to any problem with the rhythm or rate of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the electrical impulses might be too slow, too fast, or erratic, causing an irregular heartbeat. If the heart does not beat properly, it cannot effectively pump blood. When this occurs, the brain, lungs, and other organs cannot work correctly and might be damaged or shut down.

Other complications and injuries include:

  • Hematomas.
  • Pericardial or cardiac tamponade.
  • Cardiac punctures.
  • Thromboembolism.
  • Perforated tissues.
  • Severe pain.
  • Hemothorax (collection of blood in the space between the lungs and chest wall).
  • Myocardial infarction or heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Air embolism.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Pulmonary pseudoaneurysm.
  • Collapsed lung (pneumothorax).
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Brachial plexus injury.
  • Port or catheter erosion via the skin.
  • Catheter occlusion.
  • Catheter embolism.
  • Breakage or damage because of compression between the first rib and clavicle.
  • Device extrusion or rotation.
  • Extravasation.
  • Endocarditis.
  • Guidewire fragment embolism.
  • Fibrin sheath formation.
  • Hydrothorax.
  • Infection, including without limitation, of the bloodstream, catheter tunnel, or pocket.
  • Scarring or inflammation of the skin around the implant area.
  • Laceration of viscous or vessels.
  • Reaction or intolerance to the implanted device.
  • Pain around or at the port pocket area.
  • Spontaneous catheter tip retraction or malposition.
  • Thoracic duct injury.
  • Vessel erosion.
  • Chest pains.
  • Blood cough.
  • Headaches.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Death.

Most of these complications, injuries, and health conditions require emergency medical care due to their life-threatening characteristics. And even though treatment can successfully reverse some injuries, other injuries, like kidney damage, are irreversible.

Preventing Bard PowerPort Complications and Injuries

It is possible to prevent complications resulting from the Bard PowerPort device by knowing about the potential problems and consulting with your physician about potential complications. You could check out the history of recalls for Bard PowerPort devices and determine whether the model of your device has been impacted.

Tips to prevent BardPort complications and injuries include the following:

  • During treatment, inquire from your doctor or nurse about your PowerPort device's status.
  • Identify infection signs and symptoms, like inflammation or fever.
  • Maintain cleanliness at the BardPort site by adhering to your provider's directions.
  • Inform your physician about any redness or pain at the Badport site.
  • Watch out for bruises, changes in the color or odor of your urine, or other indications of bleeding.

Ask your doctor whether your PowerPort device has already been recalled from the market and whether you should remove or replace it. Knowing the symptoms of PowerPort complications and injuries may save your life.

When to See a Medical Provider

If a PowerPort is implanted in your body, you are probably undergoing active medical treatment and have an appointment with your physician on a fixed schedule. But if complications emerge between your treatments, know when you can see your physician outside the scheduled appointments. See your doctor for PowerPort complications and injuries if you experience the following:

  • Signs of blood clots or bleeding, like leg pain or bruises.
  • New changes to the already existing symptoms, like increased cough.
  • Swelling, pain, confusion, or fever.
  • Concerns that your device may be dislodged or malfunctioning.

The earlier you consult a physician, the higher their chances of reversing the injury or preventing further damage from the PowerPort device. Keep your doctor's emergency contact phone number readily available in case of an unanticipated severe problem, and devise a plan if you require someone to drive you to and from the hospital.

What To Do When Injured or Have Suffered Complications Due to a Bard PowerPort Device

If you have suffered any of the above injuries because of a Bard PowerPort implanted device, you may be capable of holding the negligent party accountable and recovering compensation. Contact a Bard PowerPort lawsuit attorney near you to determine whether you have a case and qualify to file a lawsuit.

Many victims nationwide have and continue to step up monthly to hold the Bard PowerPort manufacturer responsible for their injuries that in August 2023, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the many lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL), to be presided over by Judge David G. Campbell in the United States District Court of Arizona.

The various PowerPort lawsuits all raise similar questions of fact and allegations, so the MDL will join all of them together under a single judge to take the burden off the courts and grant the victims and their attorneys the capability to streamline and coordinate pretrial and discovery proceedings. Multidistrict litigations also increase consistency and efficiency in rulings, resulting in fairer results for the affected people. They also assist in reducing litigation charges by reducing duplication of efforts.

Collecting Evidence for Your Injuries

Note that you cannot make a case against Bard PowerPort manufacturers if you do not have explicit medical evidence of your injuries.

If you have studied the pattern of successful faulty product multidistrict litigation, you will realize that it begins with a few scattered reports from various consumers about their injuries. Ultimately, breakthrough research emerges that scientifically connects product faultiness to consumers’ deteriorating health conditions and injuries. More victims start bringing suits, more research is carried out, and the authorities in charge conduct more investigations. Little by little, evidence accumulates until a case becomes irrefutable.

The more solid your evidence of injury is, the higher your settlement amount will be. And you want to do your part and provide your lawyers with everything they require to make your lawsuit undeniable.

That is why you want to have a doctor diagnose all your injuries and health problems from using the BardPort device and start treatment immediately. You will also be capable of obtaining their opinion regarding the likelihood of your injuries or health problems being linked to using a defective Bard catheter port.

Generally, the key evidence you will need to mount your PowerPort case includes:

  • Witness testimony.
  • Videos and pictures of the original injury and how it has progressed.
  • Employment details.
  • Treatment information.
  • Medical records.
  • A clear trail of all of the injury-related medical expenses.
  • An official diagnosis of your injuries corroborated by medical reports.

Find an Experienced Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Attorney Near Me

At Consumer Alert Now, we are devoted to creating nationwide awareness of high-risk and possibly harmful medical devices and products. We inform consumers of the health problems, complications, and serious side effects defective medical devices and products can cause and how anyone affected can pursue legal action.

The Bard PowerPort device is among the defective medical devices that have injured consumers nationwide. If you have sustained an injury or your loved one has died after using this device, we can assess your case and determine whether you are eligible for a lawsuit or to be part of the ongoing multidistrict litigation. If you do, we will help you find a skilled lawyer who will fight to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

To learn more about Bard PowerPort-related injuries and complications, or if you need help obtaining the compensation you deserve, call us at 800-511-0747. We will help regardless of where you are within the United States.