Surgical staplers provide a fast and convenient mechanism for doctors and other medical professionals to close and seal incisions. Recent reports suggest, however, that in some cases, surgical staplers are increasing risks by exposing patients to postoperative infections and other side effects.
Showard Law Firm is currently reviewing cases of patients who have experienced harmful surgical stapler side effects. Your injuries may be the result of a defective product. If so, you may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation to cover medical bills, lost income from missed time at work, and other damages. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a friendly and knowledgeable medical device injury attorney.
Key Features of Surgical Staplers and Implantable Staples
Surgical staplers are stainless steel or disposable plastic devices that seal a wound with metal or composite staples. The stapler’s edge acts as a hemostat that compresses an incision or wound to seal blood vessels before staples are inserted.
Depending on the application, surgeons have different options for the type of staples that can be used:
- Circular staples are typically used in bowel resections and other gastric surgical procedures.
- Laparoscopic staples are used in minimally invasive surgical procedures.
- Titanium staples are used for both internal and external wound sealing.
Titanium staples that are used internally will remain in the patient’s body indefinitely after a surgical procedure. Medical device companies are developing dissolving staples to prevent some of the long-term problems associated with internal reactions to staples.
Staples that are used to close external incisions or wounds need to be removed by a physician or a trained medical assistant.
Common Surgical Stapler Problems
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported that the most common problems with surgical staplers and medical staples include:
- Opening of the staple line at a wound site
- Malformed staples that create incomplete seals
- Jammed or misfiring stapler devices
- Failure of a stapler to fire a staple
- Incorrectly applied staples to the wrong tissue site
- Use of the wrong size of staple for a particular application
Surgical Stapler Injuries
Any of these common problems can lead to surgical staple injuries that increase recovery time and expose the patient to significantly greater medical and rehabilitation costs. In extreme cases, surgical stapler problems can cause long-term disabilities or fatalities.
Infection is the primary surgical stapler injury risk, particularly if a stapler has not been sterilized properly or the physician did not adequately clean a wound before sealing it.
A surgical or another type of wound can also become infected if the physician did not fully seal it during a stapling procedure. A patient who experiences any signs of an infection, including bleeding, redness, or swelling at a wound site, fever, and excessive pain, should immediately consult with a physician.
FDA reports reveal that some surgical stapler patients have experienced life-threatening sepsis and fistula infections, blood clots, and tearing of internal organs and tissues from improperly inserted medical staples. The FDA is studying whether these problems can lead to increased cancer risks and other serious diseases.
A patient will occasionally experience an allergic reaction to titanium medical staples. As with infections, a patient that experiences allergy problems should seek medical treatment immediately.
Recovering Damages for Surgical Stapler Complications
Medical device makers are obligated to meet certain safety standards when it comes to the design, manufacture, and dissemination of their products. If they fail to do so, they may be held legally liable for the injuries their products cause. Injured patients may be entitled to monetary damages to cover the cost of their injuries, including medical expenses and other losses.
Medical device injury lawsuits must be filed within a certain window of time following either the injury itself or the patience’s becoming aware that the injury might have been caused by a faulty device. Each state has different laws determining how long you have to file a claim.
Further, many states require the injured party to file an affidavit from an independent expert to attest to the connection between their injuries and the medical device in question.
Have You Sustained a Surgical Stapler Injury?
In the past ten years, injuries have awarded tens of millions of dollars to patients who have suffered grievous surgical stapler injuries. The FDA recently disclosed that the number of reported problems caused by surgical staplers is much higher than anyone had previously expected.
If you suspect that your complications after surgery may have been due to defective surgical staples, we invite you to call Showard Law Firm today. Our firm is dedicated to helping injured patients recover the maximum compensation they deserve to reimburse them for losses due to faulty medical staples and stapler devices. Please call us to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who will review the facts of your case and discuss possible next steps.
- livestrong.com: Types of Surgical Staples Used Internally. https://www.livestrong.com/article/236527-types-of-surgical-staples-used-internally/
- fda.gov: FDA Takes Steps to Help Reduce Risks Associated with Surgical Staplers and Implantable Staples. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-steps-help-reduce-risks-associated-surgical-staplers-and-implantable-staples www.verywellhealth.com: What to Know About How Wounds Are Closed https://www.verywellhealth.com/incision-closed-sutures-staples-glue-4055595