Complications of Port Catheter: Things Patients Should Know


Complications of Port Catheter

We are all familiar with radiation and chemotherapy for any cancer diagnosis. There are a few other types of treatment, too, such as port-a-catheter. It is a mechanism that successfully delivers nutrients, medicines, and fluids into your blood.

The Bard PowerPort is a popular port catheter device that is implanted beneath the skin for the intravenous delivery of medication and fluids. However, it seems that owing to its design and manufacturing errors, this device has been known to get fractured and migrate out of its place. As a result, patients can experience massive injuries, which can even comprise vascular damage.

Over the years, there have been several patients who have suffered injuries because of a faulty Bard PowerPort device and have filed a lawsuit for it. If you or anyone you know has faced a similar predicament, there is legal assistance available. In this article, we will delve into the complications that come with a port catheter device so that patients can make an informed decision.

How Port Catheter Affected Vincent Anderson?

In March 2023, shared the tragic account of Vincent Anderson, a Missouri man who filed a product liability lawsuit against Bard PowerPort. He complained that the faulty design of the device resulted in him suffering from severe fungal infection.

The Bard PowerPort comprises an injection port and a needle that is inserted to deliver medicines. It also has a polyurethane catheter tube that transfers the drug within the blood vessel.

In comparison to various other implanted ports, like Mediport or Port-a-cath, the Bard PowerPort was marketed as a specialized port catheter device that could withstand increased injection pressures. But today with his port catheter lawsuit, Anderson has joined the team of other people pursuing similar lawsuits, alleging that the device’s catheter tube tends to crack and get fractured. It increases the chances of deep vein thrombosis, infections, and other health complications.

Anderson reported that the Bard PowerPort was implanted in his right internal jugular vein in March 2020 to take in chemotherapy drug injections for treating urothelial cancer that he was suffering from. He was admitted to the hospital again in December 2021 because the device developed a fungemia infection. The device was removed, and he was prescribed antifungal medication.

According to the lawsuit filed by Anderson, the defendants didn’t disclose the safety concerns present in the port catheter device. The device was designed, prepared, manufactured, marketed, and distributed as an effective and safe device which led many people like him to suffer.

Port Catheter Problems People Should Know

When a medical device that’s designed to provide better treatment to a patient backfires with severe complications, patients should be careful about it. The probable complications of the Bard PowerPort include:

Port Catheter Fractures

There have been patients who have witnessed catheter fractures and similar complications. Even though this problem is less in occurrence, it can prove to be fatal. It takes place when the device’s plastic tube that is inserted into the vein breaks or cracks. It can result in extreme injuries that range from leakage of medication to broken catheter fragments inside the vein.

A few lawsuits highlight that Chronoflex AL, which is used in the port catheter device, can lead to the issue. Chronoflex is a blend of barium sulfate and polyurethane that forms the device. The lawsuits filed so far complain that Chronoflex is highly defective, and it results in failure.

When there are fractured and broken catheter pieces inside the vein, it can create other problems. The device fragments might result in pulmonary embolism. Other problems comprise bleeding and infections.

To resolve this issue, the doctors might take several approaches. The fracture severity is what decides the corrective measures. In case catheter pieces get carried farther inside the blood vessels, there might be a need for surgery. Based on the requirement, the doctors may select minimally invasive procedures as their first-line option.

The expenses for this vary. It primarily depends on the process by which doctors treat this complication. Patients can use the monetary compensation they receive from their lawsuits to cover these expenses.

TorHoerman Law states that for patients to receive the fair compensation they deserve, they need to work with an expert lawyer. They will help to determine the liability, collect evidence that helps build a strong case, and also assess the damages. They will help the patients navigate through the litigation process with guidance and ensure that they receive the settlement payout without any unwanted delays.

Port Catheter Migration

This is a challenging problem that several patients using Bard PowerPort have faced. The device can get dislodged when a patient vomits or coughs. The migration can lead to various other complications.

The migration challenges are based on multiple factors, such as the vein in which the catheter was placed. However, the patients can undergo catheter malfunction, infection, hemorrhage, perforation, neurological complications, and various other shoulder, neck, or ear pain.

According to the lawsuits, many victims believe that the device has been designed incorrectly, which increased the scope of migration. And they didn’t know that the risk was higher in Bard PowerPort in comparison to the other catheter devices available.

Port Catheter Infections

Bard PowerPort has also been linked with infection. This can take place because of many reasons, such as polyurethane catheter migrations or fractures. However, the infection can vary in terms of severity and can also lead to septic shock and sepsis in case of few.

A few patients complained of infections much later than the usual time. They feel that the faulty device design led to bacterial growth after it was implanted in the patient’s body. However, each case of infection is different and needs medical attention.

Summing up, the ongoing lawsuits against Bard PowerPort establish the concerns that patients have faced and the complications it resulted in. Therefore, patients need to think twice before getting this device implanted in their body. They need to ask the right questions of their doctors before making a final decision. And the ones who have already suffered should seek both medical and legal aid.

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