I’ve written here many times about the growing number of lawsuits alleging serious injuries caused by the Mirena IUD, a dangerous medical device used for birth control. Made by Bayer Healthcare, Mirena is a device implanted in the uterus that prevents pregnancy with its physical presence and also by releasing hormones into the patient’s body. Unfortunately, a growing number of reports fault Mirena for migrating out of the uterus, sometimes months after it was implanted. The results can include perforation of the patient’s internal organs; pain; and infection. The patient will likely need surgery to remove the device, and may suffer serious secondary problems like permanent infertility. Another lawsuit making these allegations was filed last month by Sherry Broadwater of western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Record.
Broadwater’s lawsuit says she had a Mirena IUD implanted in 2010. There were no problems with the insertion—which is the time when doctors expect any perforation of the uterus to happen. But after insertion, Broadwater began to feel severe abdominal discomfort, headaches, diarrhea, nausea and severe mood swings. She also got pregnant, which the device was supposed to prevent. After she went to the doctor to request the device’s removal, doctors couldn’t find it and assumed it had been expelled from her body. But in late 2011, an X-ray showed that the device had migrated to elsewhere in Broadwater’s body. Ultimately, Broadwater had to undergo surgery to remove the device and stop the extreme abdominal pain she continued to feel. Broadwater’s Mirena IUD injury lawyer said in court papers that he believes the case is appropriate for inclusion in pending multi-district litigation over Mirena injuries.
That multi-district litigation is currently pending in the Southern District of New York, which is hearing a total of 267 cases. Hundreds of other Mirena injury lawsuits are pending across the United States. The FDA has already warned Mirena manufacturer Bayer for overstating the benefits of the device, in a 2009 letter concerning advertising about libido. The next year, Bayer and Health Canada issued a joint statement warning women that perforation was a risk of Mirena. The FDA had received more than 45,000 reports of problems with Mirena as of June 2012. In addition to the perforation and migration that Broadwater experienced, women have reported having Mirena embedded in their uterine walls; erosion of the flesh in important pelvic areas; pregnancy with the device in place; and ectopic pregnancy, in which the fetus implants in the Fallopian tubes, which can kill the mother or make her infertile if the pregnancy isn’t ended.
These are life-altering side effects that should be treated seriously. Before patients decide to have this kind of semi-permanent birth control implanted, they should be given all of the information they need to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, Bayer has not adequately warned patients of this problem—even after reports of serious problems with Mirena users began coming in. That’s why patients who were injured after they had Mirena inserted into their bodies are now pursuing legal action. Patients injured by Mirena can claim financial compensation for all of the medical costs related to the device, such as surgery to remove it and other follow-up care. They can also claim damages for their pain, suffering and any pregnancy loss or permanent infertility caused by the device.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries because of a medical device you thought you could trust, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe to discuss your legal options. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 1-877-678-3400 or send us a message online.
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