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FAQ: What are Port-a-Catheter Migration Symptoms?

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

What are Port-a-Catheter Migration Symptoms?

Question: What are Port-a-Catheter Migration Symptoms?

Answer: Port-a-Catheter migration symptoms include localized pain or swelling, changes in catheter function, palpable movement of the port, and unusual sensations or discomfort in the chest or neck area.

Complications from Port-a-Catheter migration, such as vessel damage or embolism, typically require immediate medical intervention, often involving surgical retrieval of the migrated catheter and treatment of any related injuries.

On this page, we’ll discuss Port-a-Catheter Migration Symptoms in more depth, Bard PowerPort Lawsuits for catheter migration, and much more.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit: Bard PowerPort Device Linked to Migration, Fracture, and Other Injuries

Port-a-catheters, or subcutaneous or implantable ports, have become widely used medical devices for patients requiring long-term treatments such as chemotherapy, dialysis, or long-term intravenous therapy.

A port catheter device offers a convenient and less invasive way to administer medications or draw blood, making them essential for many individuals battling chronic illnesses.

However, certain Bard PowerPort devices have been linked to issues and complications like migration, fracture, and other injuries.

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Catheter migration is caused by various factors, such as the patient’s movement, pressure changes, etc.

In regard to the Bard PowerPort device, the polyurethane and barium sulfate material used (called chronoflex AL) to form the catheter body is claimed to be defective, resulting in the port device potentially migrating and fragmenting.

Catheter misplacement could cause unwanted effects on a patient’s health.

Understanding the causes of migration, its physical and functional symptoms, and the implications of catheter failure is important for patients.

Lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of the Bard PowerPort device for serious injuries suffered by patients, and these legal actions have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL).

If you or a loved one have experienced catheter migration from Bard PowerPort, you may be eligible to file a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit.

Contact us today for a free consultation and to get in touch with a Bard PowerPort Lawyer.

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify to file a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit instantly.

Our law firm has decades of experience filing lawsuits against medical device manufacturers, and we’re here to represent victims of Bard PowerPort complications.

Reach out to our law firm today.

Table of Contents

What Is Catheter Migration?

Catheter migration refers to the unintended movement of a port-a-catheter from its original implanted position.

Port catheter devices are designed to stay securely in place, but sometimes they can shift, posing risks and complications.

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Migration can vary in extent, from minor movement within the subcutaneous tissue to more significant dislocation within the body.

The Dangers of Catheter Migration

The primary concern with catheter migration is that it can disrupt the intended function of the port-a-catheter.

When these devices are implanted, they are carefully positioned to allow easy access to medical procedures while minimizing discomfort for the patient.

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Migration can lead to pain, dysfunction, and, in severe cases, life-threatening complications.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of migration is crucial for early detection and intervention.

What Causes Catheter Migration?

Port-a-catheter migration occurs when the catheter detaches from its original port site and travels through the vascular system, potentially reaching vital organs and causing serious complications.

Migration is often caused by improper surgical placement, structural defects in the catheter, excessive physical activity post-implantation, or even wear and tear over time.

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Several factors can contribute to catheter migration:

  • Surgical Technique:  The initial implantation procedure plays a significant role in catheter stability. If the device is not anchored correctly or if there are complications during surgery, migration may occur.
  • Tissue Changes:  Over time, the tissues around the catheter may change due to weight gain, weight loss, or muscle atrophy. These changes can impact the position of the catheter.
  • External Trauma:  Physical injuries or trauma to the area where the catheter is implanted can displace the device. Patients should avoid activities that could damage the catheter or surrounding tissues.
  • Catheter Material:  The material used for the catheter can also influence its stability. For instance, silicone or polyurethane infused with barium sulfate for radiopacity can lead to fractures, which may subsequently cause migration.

Physical Symptoms of Port-a-Catheter Migration

Physical symptoms of a migrated port-a-catheter can be varied and sometimes subtle, signaling that the device has moved from its original position.

Some of the most evident symptoms of a migrated catheter are often felt physically.

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The most common physical symptoms of catheter migration a patient might experience include:

  • Persistent Pain: Patients might experience localized pain at the catheter site, mainly if it has shifted and is pressing against tissues or nerves.
  • Visible Swelling: Swelling or bulging at the catheter insertion site may signify migration.
  • Skin Changes: Changes in the skin over the catheter site, such as redness, bruising, or visible irregularities, can indicate a problem.
  • Visible Catheter Length: In some cases, the catheter may become more visible or protrude further from the skin than usual, a clear sign of migration.
  • Discomfort During Use: Patients may feel discomfort or pain when the catheter is accessed for medical procedures.

Functional Symptoms of Catheter Migration

Functional symptoms are often felt later after physical symptoms appear.

These symptoms don’t always manifest physically but alter how the catheter works.

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Functional symptoms of catheter migration include:

  • Difficulty Accessing the Port: Healthcare providers may encounter challenges accessing the catheter for treatments, drawing blood, or administering medications. This predicament can lead to delays in patient care.
  • Malfunction: In severe cases, migration can cause the catheter to malfunction, making it unusable. This issue is critical for patients who rely on the device for life-sustaining treatments.
  • Inadequate Medication Delivery: If the catheter is not securely in place, it may not effectively deliver medications or treatments, potentially compromising the patient’s health.
  • Infection Risk: As the catheter moves, it can create openings for bacteria to enter, increasing the risk of infections, which can be severe, especially if biofilms develop.

Health Outcomes and Risks Associated with Catheter Failure

Catheter failure and migration is often associated with specific failure modes, each with implications for patient health.

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Catheter migration generally can occur from and lead to:

  • Catheter fracture
  • Catheter infections
  • Blood clots (thrombosis)

Catheter Fracture

The materials used in Bard PowerPort devices is a polyurethane and barium sulfate mixture called chronoflex AL.

While this combination of materials is essential for tracking the catheter’s position in the body, it is claimed that the use of this material has resulted in catheter fracture.

Barium sulfate is a heavy compound used for imaging purposes.

However, it is claimed that barium sulfate can create weak points if it’s not thoroughly integrated into the catheter material, making the catheter susceptible to the following issues:

  • Cracks and Breaks: Barium sulfate particles can create stress points within the catheter, increasing the likelihood of fractures.
  • Leakage: Fractured catheters may allow the infusion of medications or fluids into unintended body areas, leading to ineffective treatment and potential complications.
  • Dislodgment: Catheter dislodgement can result in migration, which can interfere with treatment and pose severe health risks.

Catheter Infection

Notches and cracks in the catheter can provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

These notches and irregularities may not be readily visible, making it challenging to detect the early signs of infection.

Catheter infection poses a severe health risk to the patient.

Over time, bacteria can form a biofilm on the catheter surface, a matrix of bacterial cells embedded in a slimy extracellular substance.

Biofilms make it challenging to treat infections and can lead to antibiotic resistance.

Biofilm formation could lead to delayed infection symptoms.

Infections occurring at least 90 days post-implantation should be of concern.

Delayed symptoms can lead to severe complications if not promptly diagnosed and treated.

In many cases, removing the infected implanted port is the most effective way to manage severe infections.

However, doing so can disrupt treatment and pose challenges for patients and healthcare providers.

Blood Clots and Thrombosis

Another significant risk associated with the migration of the PowerPort implantable port is thrombosis, the formation of blood clots.

Blood clots can occur at fracture sites and have dire consequences:

  • Pulmonary Embolism: If a clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, it can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening.
  • Thrombosis: Localized blood clots can impede blood flow in the affected vessel, potentially leading to tissue damage or organ dysfunction.
  • Strokes: If a clot travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke, resulting in neurological impairment or even death.

Fibrin is a protein involved in the clotting process.

When Bard PowerPort catheters fracture and expose their surface, fibrin can accumulate on the rough edges, increasing the risk of clot formation.

It’s important to note that not all clots are catheter-related, as some patients may have pre-existing clotting conditions.

Further, specific treatments that necessitate catheter implants can induce clotting, so thorough assessment and diagnosis are essential to determine the cause of thrombosis.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Updates

The Bard PowerPort device has been the subject of a lawsuit due to issues related to migration, fracture, and other injuries.

In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall to certain Bard PowerPort devicess. but later terminated the Bard PowerPort recall in 2022.

The current lawsuit against Bard Access Systems, Inc. and Becton Dickinson and Company is ongoing.

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The cases were submitted to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), which later consolidated the lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in August 2023.

The JPML assigned the consolidated cases to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, and Judge David G. Campbell will oversee the discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Do You Qualify for the Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?

Specific criteria must be met before you can file a lawsuit.

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You may be eligible to file if these requirements are present:

  • Use of Bard PowerPort: You or your loved one must have had a Bard PowerPort catheter device implanted.
  • Existing Complications: You must have experienced complications related to a defective Bard PowerPort device, such as migration, fracture, or infection.
  • Date of Implantation: The complications should have occurred after the implantation of the Bard PowerPort.

While these factors could help point you in the right direction, it’s still best to speak with an experienced medical product liability attorney to determine your eligibility.

Gathering Evidence for Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

An experienced Bard PowerPort Lawyer can help you gather evidence for your case.

To build a strong case in a Bard PowerPort lawsuit, you should gather evidence, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Other receipts associated with costs
  • Medical records
  • Treatment information
  • Employment records
  • Written or video personal accounts of injury
  • Photos and videos of injury progression
  • Testimony from witnesses, such as loved ones

Assessing Damages for Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

Damages in a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit may include:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes costs for treating complications, infections, or other Bard PowerPort complications.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation may be awarded for the physical and emotional distress the defective catheter device has caused.
  • Lost Wages: If you cannot work due to complications, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income.
  • Future Medical Expenses: If you require ongoing medical care or treatment due to Bard PowerPort complications, these expenses may also be covered.

TorHoerman Law: Your Reliable Bard PowerPort Lawyer

Catheter migration, particularly with devices like the Bard PowerPort, can pose significant risks and complications for patients.

It’s crucial to be aware of the causes, symptoms, and potential complications associated with migration.

If you or a loved one has experienced issues with a Bard PowerPort device, seeking legal support may be necessary to address the associated challenges and seek compensation for damages.

At TorHoerman Law, we have a strong background in helping patients stand up against negligent medical corporations, helping them with class action lawsuits, or assisting them with the MDL process.

Our team of skilled attorneys can provide the legal support and guidance you need to pursue your case and seek the compensation you deserve.

Contact us now or use our chatbot for a free evaluation to see if you’re eligible to file a case.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you fix a catheter migration?

    Fixing catheter migration involves repositioning the catheter to its intended location.

    This procedure may require a surgical process to correct the migration and secure the catheter.

    The specific approach will depend on the extent of the migration and the patient’s overall health.

  • What are the complications of catheter migration?

    Catheter migration can lead to complications, including pain, infection, difficulty accessing the port, catheter malfunction, and thrombosis.

    Other serious injuries may include cardiac arrhythmia and pericardial tamponade.

    These complications can have profound health implications and may require medical intervention.

  • What is the Average Bard PowerPort Settlement Amount?

    The Bard PowerPort Lawsuit is ongoing, and no settlements have been reached.

    However, lawyers estimate that average Bard PowerPort settlement amounts may range between $10,000 to over $250,000 depending on an individual’s damages and the direction of the litigation.

    These estimates are by no means a guarantee of compensation in the Bard PowerPort Lawsuit; they are merely projections based on results in past product liability lawsuits.

    An experienced Bard PowerPort Lawyer can help determine if you qualify to file a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit and what to expect.

    Contact TorHoerman Law for a free discussion about your legal options and the Bard PowerPort Lawsuit.

  • What kind of treatments or interventions will you need?

    The treatment or intervention for catheter migration will depend on the extent of the migration and any resulting complications.

    This therapy may involve repositioning the catheter, managing infections, addressing thrombosis, or even catheter removal in severe cases.

  • How long does port-a-catheter last?

    The lifespan of a port-a-catheter can vary depending on several factors, including the patient’s medical condition, the type of catheter used, and the quality of care and maintenance.

    On average, these devices can last for several years, but they may need to be replaced if complications arise.

  • Is it painful to have a port removed?

    The experience of having a port removed can vary from person to person.

    The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort.

    Some patients may experience mild pain or discomfort during and after the removal, while others may not find it painful at all.

    The healthcare provider will ensure the patient’s comfort during the process.

  • How do you prevent catheter complications?

    Preventing catheter complications involves proper care, monitoring, and communication with your healthcare provider.

    Follow the catheter maintenance instructions, be aware of any changes or symptoms, and report any concerns to your medical team promptly.

    Regular follow-up appointments are essential to monitor the catheter’s function and detect any issues early.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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