Another trial is underway in Charleston, W.Va., alleging defectively designed transvaginal mesh products caused serious injuries. The federal lawsuit was filed by Jo Huskey and her husband Allen against Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.
Transvaginal mesh, also referred to as vaginal mesh or bladder sling, is a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic floor disorders including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. It is inserted through the vagina to hold up organs that have prolapsed out of place, putting pressure in the pelvic cavity and causing symptoms such as pain, discomfort and incontinence.
The mesh has been found to erode into tissue and puncture neighboring organs, causing serious complications such as excruciating and chronic pain, painful intercourse, incontinence, bleeding, and infections. Often, multiple surgeries are required to remove the mesh. Some women have suffered lifelong consequences.
Huskey’s hearing involved testimony from Scott Guelcher, a chemical engineer who has conducted research on cell interactions with polymers, the material used to make the TVT-O midurethral sling that was implanted in the plaintiff. He said that polypropylene can degrade when it comes in contact with oxygen. Guelcher added that a “foreign body” response happens when cells in the body attack the polypropylene as a defense mechanism, causing it to become brittle and cracked.
Huskey’s lawsuit accuses Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon of negligence, manufacturing defect and negligent misrepresentation. It is one of hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh, and just the second to go to trial against Ethicon.
Source: Charleston Daily Mail