Few things are worse than medical treatments and devices that are supposed to provide relief but actually do the exact opposite: cause more harm. When medical patients are made worse by products and procedures they often have legal remedies to make themselves whole.
For example, a growing number of community members have suffered serious and permanent injuries from should pain pump devices. These are tools designed to alleviate pain following shoulder surgeries. The idea is for the pump to act as an alternative to oral or intravenous medications. It works by inserting a catheter directly in the shoulder allowing medication to be applied directly to the area in need.
Should Pump Complications
Unfortunately, over the last few years patient care advocates have come to realize the serious harm suffered by some who use these pumps. In these cases, the pumps do not help fight pain—they exacerbate the problem. This has led to a serious of shoulder pain pump lawsuits.
Red flags were first raised in 2007 when a study was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine arguing that the risk of permanent cartilage damage outweighed the pain relief benefit. Shockingly, the study found that 63% of patients with the pain pump developed a condition known as “postartroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis” (PAGCL). PAGCL is usually caused by overmedication in the affected area. When pain pumps inadvertently release medicine to the area over time, there is a breakdown in some shoulder cartilage. This causes shoulder bones to come in direct contact, often splintering and leading to various complications on top of extreme pain for the sufferer.
Two years after this first report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the pumps. Specifically, they concluded that PAGCL was caused by mistakes made by doctors when using the pain pumps. In fact, the FDA report noted that the devices had never been approved for continuous post-operative use. It wasn’t until makers of the pump devices began suggesting to doctors that they be used continuously after surgery did medical professionals begin using the pumps to deliver medication directly to the shoulder. It turns out that this unapproved use was the main culprit causing patient harm.
Shoulder Pain Pump Lawsuits
Even though problems with these pumps were uncovered a few years ago, many patients still develop PAGCL as a result of their use. This is unacceptable, particularly because all medical professionals have no excuse for failing to appreciate the risks associated with these pumps and the need to take steps to prevent complications from developing.
In fact, last year in 2011 another research effort, this time from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reaffirmed earlier findings of the connection between the pain pumps and PAGCL. Many heralded the study as the most comprehensive of its kind; it included examination of hundreds of shoulder surgery patients by an orthopedic surgeon. The final recommendation in that study was for all intra-articular pain pumps to be avoided entirely.
Shoulder Pain Pump Damages
Medical providers should never insert devices into patients that they know pose an unreasonable risk of harm. If you or a loved suspect you may have been harmed by one of these devices, please get in contact with our personal injury attorneys today to see if a shoulder pain pump lawsuit is appropriate.
You can reach The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP at 1-800-624-8888 or submit an InjuryLawyer.com free online case evaluation. The initial consultation is FREE of charge. We work on a contingency fee basis. Meaning, if we agree to handle your case, there are no legal fees unless we are successful in getting you money.
Some lawsuits need be filed before an impending expiration date, known as the Statute of Limitations. Therefore, call or contact us right away to ensure that you do not waive your rights to money damages or other benefits.