Pelvic mesh victim wins $2.16 million from Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon in the U.S.

pelvic mesh inquiry

An American woman from the state of Pennsylvania is set to be paid $2.16 million (around £1.7 million) for injuries suffered after having a pelvic mesh device implanted.

The medical device was manufactured by Ethicon; a medical device branch of Johnson & Johnson.

Ms Margaret Engleman brought the lawsuit after she had the mesh implanted to treat her stress urinary incontinence (SUI). However, the mesh reportedly fused and eroded into her organs causing painful complications. Being fused into her organs, the mesh could not be surgically removed and continues to cause pain and urinary problems to this day.

Global medical giants Johnson & Johnson acquired the Ethicon company in 1949 and revamped it in to a medical device manufacturer to provide vaginal mesh devices.

Ethicon’s vaginal meshes are usually implanted in patients who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse.

Sometimes the uterus or other nearby organs can drop into the vaginal area causing pain and discomfort. It’s also very common for sufferers to experience urinary incontinence as a result of the device failing too. Vaginal meshes are sewn into the vaginal wall near the bladder and uterus to hold things in place.

Problems worldwide

Women are experiencing adverse effects from the implants worldwide, experiencing pain and serious discomfort if the implant erodes and / or fails. Attempts to rectify the problem have been largely unsuccessful as the mesh is fused into the organs. Unfortunate victims are reporting a plethora of excruciating pain, infection and urinary problems; not to mention prolapses the implants were supposed to prevent.

Around 54,800 lawsuits are being made against Johnson & Johnson across the U.S states involving the following products:

  • Ethicon Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Mesh
  • Ethicon GynecareProsima Pelvic Mesh
  • Ethicon Gynecare Gynemesh
  • Ethicon Prolene Mesh
  • Ethicon Gynecare

The lawsuits against Ethicon are ever-more serious as it’s revealed that Johnson & Johnson apparently didn’t wait for regulatory approval for all of their mesh implant devices. They reportedly assumed that since some of their products were already approved, this one shouldn’t be a problem either.

It seems they were wrong.

Several law suits in action

This lawsuit joins a number of other successful claims against Ethicon over the past couple of years, with other women awarded millions of U.S. dollars for their own complications and device failures.

This costly affair can be seen as a warning to all medical device manufacturers and suppliers who don’t take patient care seriously. The hefty financial lawsuits can serve to punish them appropriately, but it’s nothing compared to the pain and suffering the patients will endure for the rest of their lives.

Vaginal mesh claims in the U.K.

In the U.K. thousands of women have also undergone the same procedure and have experienced similar problems.

Ms Susan McLarnon also suffered from pelvic floor prolapse induced incontinence as a result of having a mesh implant here in the U.K. She was then advised to have the mesh implanted to hold her internal organs in place; but reportedly not warned about the potential adverse risks.

She bravely spoke to the BBC in a bid to tell her story and warn other women:

“I have come out partially disabled. I went in able bodied and I have come out in crutches” she said. Any patient who seeks medical help expects to get better after treatment, not worse. For Ms McLarnon, the pain and suffering doesn’t end here, with the quality of her life greatly depreciated, she predicts that she will “end up in a wheelchair.”

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