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‘Do no harm’ — not always the motto in medical and personal care products

By April 17, 2016 Personal Injury

Although there is a wide array of personal care products, prescription drugs and medical devices that result in causing harm instead of improving people’s lives, the personal injury lawyers at Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at Law, PLLC, have found a few to be particularly common trouble-makers.

“We tend to see more cases attached to the blood thinner Xarelto; the use of talcum powder; and metal-on-metal hip replacement parts,” said Brian Knauth, an attorney with the firm who handles personal injury cases.

Blood thinners like Xarelto and Pradaxa (which just incurred a $650 million settlement for its link to more than 500 deaths,) tend to have serious side effects.  These drugs can cause internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, and bleeding in the brain, all of which can result in death.

“Each patient is an individual whose body processes these drugs in a different way,” Knauth said.  “Drug companies are sometimes premature in bringing products to the market before they know the real risks involved by side effects.”

Talcum powder has long been the answer to keeping fresh for a number of women.  Talc is a mineral made up of magnesium, silicon and oxygen which absorbs moisture. It has been marketed as baby powder, body and facial powder products.  Women who use talc in the genital area, however, are increasing their risk of ovarian cancer.

“As many as 2,200 cases diagnosed each year may be linked to the regular use of talcum powder,” Knauth said. “Recently, Johnson & Johnson was found to be aware of this risk, however it did nothing to warn consumers.  Women who have routinely used talc and who have ovarian cancer should speak with us.”

The FDA is reviewing all metal-on-metal hip implants due to problems with these devices.  Patients have experienced loosening, fractures, and dislocation of the device caused by inflammation that occurs in the joint space.  The list of brands is lengthy: DePuy Orthopedics ASR XL, DePuy Pinnacle, and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System; Smith and Nephew R3 Acetabular System; Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII modular-neck systems; Zimmer Durom Cup; Wright Conserve; and the Biomet M2A and M2A-Magnum hip replacement systems.

“If you have had a hip replacement and have pain, swelling and problems walking, it could be because your prosthetic device is defective,” Knauth said.  “Contact your surgeon to identify the problem, and if it is an issue with the device, you may be eligible for compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the defect.”