Pelvic Mesh Implants – What Are They & Why Are Women Suing Over Them

We’ve all heard the ominous ads come over the television warning us about medical device issues and lawsuits. You may have noticed a new term on these ads that have popped up, and that is for pelvic mesh implants, sometimes referred to as a transvaginal mesh. Thousands of women have had this surgical tool used and are suffering the consequences. However, if you haven’t had the mesh implants, you may be curious as to what they are, why there are used, and why women are suing over them. Wonder no more!

What Are Pelvic Mesh Implants?

Also referred to as transvaginal mesh, pelvic mesh implants are generally referred to as urogynaecological meshes. The goals sound harmless enough – treating stress incontinence, which sees women dealing with bladder leakage, particularly when doing physical activity. Normally brought on by childbirth or menopause, this can impact up to 20% of women.

Even more commonly, the meshes were also used to treat prolapses of pelvic organs, which includes the bladder, rectum, or uterus. Simply put, a prolapse is when one of these organs becomes discombobulated because the muscles that normally hold it in place become weakened. Most commonly, this affects women after childbirth as the physical effects of both pregnancy and childbirth can vastly impact the muscular structure of the pelvis. In fact, some estimates put the rate of impact of pelvic organ prolapse as high as 50%. Some cases are severe enough to greatly impact the quality of life of women, including causing urinary and sexual issues.

The mesh implants were introduced to combat these issues. Initially, with stress incontinence, they saw many advantages to the use of implants. Previously, open surgery was required to fix prolapses, and the mesh implant surgery only took about 30 minutes, and most patients could go home the same day. Results for this were so good that the mesh was used to treat prolapses as well. In some countries, the use of mesh, often in the form of transvaginal tape, became so popular by 2010 that it was the final treatment option for prolapse in almost a quarter of patients.

So What Are Women Suing Over Them Now?

It turns out that while the results were impressive for stress incontinence, more testing should have been done on the efficacy and side effects of pelvic mesh for prolapse issues. Instead of the same level of success, it turns out that, according to the UK’s National Health Service, one in every 15 women who get the pelvic mesh treatment will need surgery to extract it. Even in those were extraction wasn’t needed, the efficacy of the tape is highly in doubt. A recent survey found that 59% of pelvic mesh patients didn’t feel their initial issue was resolved, and 58% reported painful sexual intercourse after the procedure. While that survey wasn’t scientific, the results still speak volumes. The mesh has also been known to erode and cause severe side effects, like intense pain, bleeding, and recurring prolapse, among many others. This has led some nations to ban the usage of the mesh.

For this reason, class action suits are being filed on behalf of patients from around the world. It is estimated that many thousands of women have received the mesh implants and could be facing these side effects. The lawsuits target the various manufacturers of the mesh, with the largest suit being filed against Johnson & Johnson. The results of these cases are still outstanding, particularly as the negative side effects of the pelvic mesh can take years to show up.

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Common Birth Injury Symptoms – Essential Resources and Information for Your Situation

The birth of a child should be a joyous event, but certain risks come with these moments. Birth injuries, sometimes known as birth traumas, occur when the size or position of the newborn causes complications during delivery, according to Stanford Children’s Health. In situations like these, the baby, the mother, or both may face serious injury. The injury can have a long-term effect on the child as he or she develops.

The following is a breakdown of some of the most common and damaging birth injuries.

Bone Damage – Including Breaks or Fractures

Aside from crying – which is generally expected even from a healthy baby – newborns have few ways of communicating their injury. This is why bone fractures and breaks aren’t always apparent. Signs such as bruising or limited limb movement may indicate a bone injury. As the damage heals, a doctor will likely recommend a splint to aid in successful recovery.

Injury to the collarbone is the most common injury among newborns, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This kind of damage generally occurs when a newborn is larger than average or the mother’s birth canal is narrow. The tools a doctor uses during delivery can also fracture a baby’s collarbone.

Facial Paralysis

This birth injury occurs when too much pressure is applied to the baby’s face during delivery – perhaps due to the use of forceps. The result is facial nerve damage that prevents the baby from moving one side of his or her face. Sometimes this condition improves naturally over time, but in more severe cases, additional surgery might be necessary to correct the problem. If permanent nerve damage occurs, therapy may be needed.

This kind of injury is often easy to notice, as the baby won’t be able to move his or her eyelids, mouth, or another part of the face while crying, according to MedlinePlus.

Brachial Palsy

This type of injury affects a newborn’s arms and hands. When the brachial plexus (a collection of nerves) is damaged during delivery, the baby will be unable to move certain arm muscles or experience pain in his or her limbs. If the damage is limited to the shoulder or elbows, the condition is known as Erb’s palsy, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment options will range from the use of a splint to surgical solutions such as muscle and nerve transfers. In some cases, brachial plexus palsy will go away on its own.

Other Injuries

Bone damages, brachial plexus palsy, and facial paralysis are just a few of the many potential birth injuries. Further examples include:

  • Cephalohematoma: Pooling of the blood near the skull
  • Caput succedaneum: Swelling of the scalp due to fluid buildup
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhages: Broken blood vessels in the eyes
  • Asphyxia neonatorum: Lack of oxygen

Some of these injuries are potentially fatal and others resolve on their own. However, no matter the severity of the damage, it’s important that you communicate openly with your doctor and voice any questions or concerns you may have. Your willingness to talk to your doctor just might help your baby avoid long-lasting health issues.

Finding Legal Help

Nearly 4 million babies are born each year in the United States. Unfortunately, deliveries don’t always go as smoothly as families hope.

Often the injury is simply the result of unavoidable conditions, such as the baby’s size. But it’s also possible for poor decision making by a doctor to cause lasting harm to the mother or newborn. If you or your child was injured due to a doctor’s negligence, contact a birth injury attorney immediately. This could be the first step toward receiving compensation for the trauma.

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Things You Should Know About Medical Malpractice: Tips, Advice & More

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide competent services and causes harm to a patient. It is a common problem in the medical field and, while patient care is the primary concern of most doctors, nurses, etc., sometimes mistakes happen.

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to understand how and when to file a claim. The laws vary from one state to another, but there are several broad rules that apply in most situations. If you are thinking about filing a medical malpractice case, continue reading to discover some helpful tips and advice. Read more

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How to Choose a Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, one of the first things to do is to find an experienced medical malpractice lawyer with a history of success. Here are some tips to make the process less overwhelming for you. CHALLENGES FACING VICTIMS OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Read more

Rhonda Burgess is the Marketing Director for Kopelman Sitton Law Firm. They specialize in providing personalized, quality representation of those who unfortunately suffered catastrophic injuries and death, or the destruction of property as the result of negligence or misconduct of others.

Challenges Facing Victims of Medical Malpractice in Canada

While medical malpractice can be difficult to prove, it can be especially difficult to prove such claims in Canada. Research suggests that in Canada approximately 70,000 people a year suffer from a preventable, serious injury as the result of medical treatment, and another 38,000 to 43,000 people die annually as a result of medical malpractice. Despite these statistics and the known issue of doctors failing to perform the functions of their job correctly thereby injuring patients, little is done to hold medical professionals responsible for the harm they cause. Read more

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