Stents are small plastic or metal tubes that can be inserted into an artery or blood vessel. This permanent procedure is usually done when the artery has narrowed due to a build-up of plaque along the artery walls (atherosclerosis). They are also used after some procedures like angioplasties in order to prevent re-closing of blocked arteries after surgery.
A “drug-coated stent” is a newer form of stent that slowly release drugs in order to prevent scarring of the arteries. They began entering the market for public use in the years 2003 and 2004. They are also called drug-eluting or drug-emitting stents.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of many brands of drug-coating stents. After their approval, the FDA continued to monitor drug-coated stents in patients and have reported several risks and side effects.
What Types of Risks are Associated with Drug-Coated Stents?
Newer studies show that there is a small, yet significant risk of blood-clotting (thrombosis) within some types of drug-coated stents. While the FDA has stated that drug-coated stents are safe when used properly, these new studies have raised concerns regarding the long-term safety of drug-coated stent implants.
Some other risks and side-effects associated with drug-coated stents can include:
- Allergic reaction to the drugs being released by the stent
- Allergic reaction to the materials that the stents are made of
- Blood clot
- Rupture of the blood vessel upon insertion of the stent
- Unwanted stent movement/travel (“stent migration”)
- Clogging on the inside of the stent (“in-stent restenosis”)
Some rare complications have also been linked to stents and drug-coated stents, like: tearing of blood vessels, heart attack, and chest pain.
Thus, the use of drug-coated stents is not recommended for all persons, especially those with a history of allergy to drugs or stent materials. You should consult with your physician if you are considering drug-coated stents as a treatment option.
What if I Have Been Injured Due to Drug-Coated Stents?
If you have been injured on account of drug-coated stents, it may be possible to recover your losses in a court of law. You may be able to get reimbursement for losses including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In general, such injuries can usually be remedied through a negligence or medical malpractice claim. These would involve proving that a health care professional or provided breached their duty of care to you, which caused the injuries or economic losses.
Or, you might be able to file a lawsuit for defective products if it is found that the drug-coated stents were defective in some way. It may be necessary to contact a legal professional if you need further advice on how to proceed with your legal claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Injuries Resulting from Drug-Coated Stents?
Since they are relatively new to the market, the long-term effects and risks associated with drug-coated stents are not well-known. While generally safe overall, several types of complications can arise in patients who have had drug-coated stent implants. Legal questions and inquiries can be directed to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. Your attorney can inform you of your rights and options when it comes to legal remedies.