Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Hundreds of women who received mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are suing manufacturers and physicians for injuries suffered as a result of the procedure.  As the focus on damage caused by improper treatment intensifies, the interest in what causes POP continues to grow.  What exactly is pelvic organ prolapse?

Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse

For women, the relaxation of ligaments and muscles in the pelvic region sometimes allows for the intrusion of the bladder, colon, or uterus into the vagina. Upper vaginal tissue can also bulge into the lower vaginal area.  By one estimate, 40 to 70 percent of all women suffer some form of pelvic floor weakness during their lives.

Symptoms of POP are varied and include:

  • A sensation of pressure, or a protrusion, in the pelvic region
  • Bulging in the vaginal or perineal area
  • Urinary incontinence, or frequency or urgency of urination
  • Straining to defecate
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pelvic or lower back pain

Pelvic floor muscles weaken with age, leaving connective ligaments to support internal organs.  When ligaments weaken, tissue presses into the vaginal wall.  POP is more likely to occur following multiple vaginal births, after menopause, or as the result of obesity.

Treatment of POP

Mild cases of POP are treated with Kegel and other exercises designed to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. A pessary, estrogen supplements, or laparoscopic surgery can reduce or resolve symptoms.

Pelvic organ prolapse is relatively common and usually treatable. If you have suffered injury from implanted transvaginal mesh treatment for POP, be sure to seek experienced legal advice concerning your legal options.

Dangers of Actos to Diabetes Patients

Drug manufacturers are challenged to create safe drugs that target a specific condition in the human body.  The research and development process inevitably reaps more failures than successes. When a blockbuster drug is created, it becomes a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies, while hopefully providing improved treatment options for patients.

But the challenge of creating targeted, safe drugs is not always met.  All drugs have side effects.  Drugs aimed at one medical condition often inadvertently damages another body part or system.  As personal injury lawyers, we frequently handle cases for clients injured by pharmaceuticals. In recent years, we have seen a great deal of damage caused by pioglitazone, brand name Actos®.

What does Actos do?

Insulin is a naturally-produced hormone that aids the body in absorbing glucose. When insufficient insulin is produced or absorbed, high blood sugar levels damage organs throughout the body.  By increasing insulin sensitivity, Actos was designed to help type 2 diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, the side effects of Actos are serious and sometimes fatal.  Fluid build-up triggered by Actos contributes to the swelling of vessels in the eye, causing macular edema. It worsens congestive heart disease, leading to heart attack. Actos is also known to cause bladder cancer in some long-term users and liver failure in others.

Safety is paramount in novel drug therapies. Just as a drug affects the whole body, serious, disabling injury affects your life and the lives of those you love. If you have suffered side effects as a result of taking Actos, talk to your doctor about options. If injured by Actos, talk to us.

Approving Too Quickly? Drug Safety and the FDA

In October, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug dabigatran to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Marketed as the twice-daily miracle drug Pradaxa, dabigatran is now suspected in more than 540 patient deaths and thousands of drug injuries.

Side effects of Pradaxa are serious, disabling and potentially fatal. Patients prescribed Pradaxa may suffer internal bleeding, hemorrhage, kidney failure and other disorders. In September of this year, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) questioned whether the FDA compromised drug safety by approving Pradaxa without more rigorous safety testing.

Quoted in Forbes Magazine, the authors of the JAMA report cited approval of three drugs — one of which was Pradaxa — despite significant, unanswered safety questions.

In a field dominated by warfarin (Coumadin) for decades, Pradaxa is a dangerous option. While warfarin bleeds are treated with infusions of Vitamin K, hemorrhaging caused by Pradaxa has no known antidote.

What about access to improved treatment?  And what about a cursory review of potentially deadly drugs?  In the search for safe treatment of atrial fibrillation, patients injured by Pradaxa might say the FDA moved too fast.

But awareness of the danger of Pradaxa is ever-increasing. The FDA surprised the medical and financial communities in June by delaying the approval of the next new anticoagulant drug, Eliquis. Setting a new approval date of March, 2013, the FDA continues to review drug studies provided by manufacturers Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb.

If you have suffered uncontrolled bleeding as a side effect of using Pradaxa, please contact our office to discuss your injuries and your legal options.

Striving To Make Construction Work Safer For Your Loved Ones and Your City

Construction work is among the most dangerous type of work in the world. It is dangerous for the workers and for those who live or commute nearby. However, it is possible to reduce the occurrence of accidents at construction sites by following the proper safety standards. Many of these standards are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and by state and local regulations. If safety standards are not followed and someone becomes injured, then the construction company can be held liable for damages.

There are many simple precautions one can take to make construction sites safer:

Assessment

A walkthrough should be performed at the site at the beginning of each day. Hazards should be identified, recorded and brought to the attention of a manager or supervisor.

Training

All workers at a construction site should go through work training and safety training. Workers trained to perform their jobs correctly will have fewer accidents, and safety training teaches workers how to spot and avoid dangerous situations.

Signage

All hazards that cannot easily be removed should be marked, and if possible, access to the hazards should be restricted. Signs should be placed nearby to warn all workers of the hazard.

Equipment inspections

Construction equipment is large, powerful and can cause serious injuries when not working properly. All equipment should be inspected prior to its use each day. Any problems that occur while in use should be reported immediately.

Safety equipment

The proper safety equipment should be made available and used at all construction sites. This includes hard hats, safety goggles, steel-toed boots, face masks and harnesses.

Emergency preparedness

All construction sites should be prepared for any emergencies that may occur. Having first-aid supplies, emergency phone numbers and an evacuation plan is a great start to safer action in an emergency situation.

Public protection

The construction site should be adequately barricaded or fenced to prevent the public from entering.

Are You Eligible To Sue If You Have Been Harmed By A TVM Product?

Transvaginal mesh (TVM) is a medical device used mostly in recent years to treat stress incontinence. Women who have this condition may involuntarily pass urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze or lift heavy objects. Stress incontinence is caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, which may be caused by childbearing, aging or any number of combinations.

Original reports of the transvaginal mesh procedure estimated its success rate at 95 percent, but that figure has since been disproven. In fact, thousands of injuries and at least seven deaths have been attributed to the transvaginal mesh. The primary problems associated with it include infection and perforation of the bladder and other organs. The following list is just some of the serious side effects of the transvaginal mesh that have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

  • Vaginal and urinary tract infections
  • High fever
  • Odor
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding
  • Bladder leakage
  • Back pain
  • Painful bowel movements

Ironically, the bladder leakage that the transvaginal mesh was used to treat becomes worse instead of better and women end up with many new symptoms as well.

At Phillips Law Office in Chicago, we understand that you may have several questions about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit. We have a strong focus on transvaginal mesh cases, and we are here to help you sort through them and evaluate your case. You will have no upfront costs if you decide to work with our attorneys. All of the personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Office take cases on contingency, which just means that you don’t pay until we successfully settle your lawsuit. Without legal fees to worry about, you can focus your energies on recovering from this serious medical error.