Heart stents are small wire-mesh tubes which are used to keep previously clogged arteries open. Following heart bypass surgery and angioplasty, the stents are left in the artery to prevent it from re-closing. Stents gained widespread use in the medical community during the 1990s. Original designs were bare metal devices inserted into the arteries.
Since 2003, newer types of heart stents containing a medication coating have dominated the stent market. The Johnson and Johnson Cypher heart stent was introduced in 2003 and the Boston Scientific Taxus heart stent was introduced in 2004. These medicated stents have been linked to an increased risk of serious blood clots which could occur years after the stent is implanted.
Medicated stent lawsuits were reviewed by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. for individuals who have suffered:
- Heart Attack
- Reclogging of the Artery
New cases are no longer being accepted. This page is maintained for informational purposes only.
DRUG ELUTING HEART STENT PROBLEMS
Drug eluting stents were designed to prevent the formation of scar tissue inside of the cardiac arteries which could be caused by bare-metal stents. The drug-coating is intended to reduce inflammation at the site of the stent which could lead to tissue growth. The intended benefit of the drug coating is that it reduces the risk of new blockages forming by this scar tissue. However, recent studies have shown the drug coating could actually increase the risk of more serious and deadly blood clots.
The drug coating prevents heart cells from creating a biological lining around the metal of the stent. This leaves the metal exposed, which acts as a clot magnet for months and even years after the stent is implanted. When these blood clots form, it leads to a major heart attack or death approximately 70% of the time.
>>INFORMATION: Medicated Heart Stent Problems
As a result of the increased risk of heart stent blood clots, experts have recommended that patients take a blood thinning medication for significantly longer than what the manufacturers have been recommending. Currently the warning label for the Cypher heart stent recommends only three months of blood thinner and the Taxus heart stent recommends only six months. The increased risk of late stent thrombosis may require individuals to take a blood thinner for years, or even the rest of their lives. However, the necessity for continued use of anti-clotting drugs could carry additional risks. For example, Plavix side effects could include severe gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, heart attacks and strokes.
Since the heart stent problems have become more widely known, there has been a change in philosophy regarding the use of stents in heart patients. Many experts are indicating that drug coated stents have been used in many situations where bare-metal stents or long-term drug therapy would be a safer alternative. Only 20% of the drug eluting stents implanted each year are for patients meeting the profile for which they were approved by the FDA.
MEDICATED STENT LAWSUITS
It has been estimated that over 2,000 deaths each year could have been caused by drug coated heart stent problems. Although cardiologists previously expressed concerns about the safety of drug coated stents, the manufacturers have attempted to minimize the risks. They have previously taken the position that there is no difference in the risk of clotting between medicated stents and older bare metal. However, recent studies have established that this information is incorrect.
The medicated heart stent lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed lawsuits for individuals who have received a drug coated stent. New cases are no longer being accepted. This page is maintained for informational purposes only.