Category Archives: Take Action

Adverse Events Statistics Misleading – Transvaginal Mesh

Today’s press release from the Lawfirm Newswire stresses the importance of reporting injuries from TVM.

“Former FDA Program Manager, Madris Tomes, now the founder of Device Events, firmly believes all TVM kits are dangerous. Additionally, although many of the adverse event reports deal with ongoing symptoms, a question arises whether TVMs could cause deaths.

Due to the nature of the reporting system, death may be reported as malfunctions and injuries. Based on current information in the FDA reporting system it is allegedly not clear how many deaths may be related to TVM kits. However, according to Medscape, an FDA review of records for all urogynecologic mesh products spanning the years 2005 to 2010, there were 3,979 reports of malfunctions, injuries and deaths.

“It was not until 2011 that the FDA announced that the serious complications with the TVM kits everyone was reading about in the news were not rare — a reversal of its original stance on the product issued in 2008,” said Austin TVM attorney, Bobby Lee. After the FDA released its revised position on TVM kits, it was revealed they had been sent over 4,000 complaints involving TVM malfunctions, injuries and/or deaths over a five-year period.”

Here are easy to follow instructions for reporting your own mesh injury. If you have new injuries? File a new report!

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Why So Many Doctors are Bad Doctors – Mesh Trouble

To those who have been participating in surgical mesh discussions, it comes as no surprise that the practice of medicine in 2016 has completely broken down. It is not safe to become a patient these days yet, by the very nature of living in this world of fast cars and eating unhealthy food, it is inevitable that most people will need to enter the Healthcare System someday and take their chances that they professionals will do right by them.

Discussions abound about how surgical mesh was cleared for implantation inside human bodies by corrupt Food and Drug Administration officials — insiders from the pharmaceutical industry. The number of deaths that occur from medical mistakes is over 300,000, and is considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Many other discussion participants report cruel, dismissive, even dangerous treatment by doctors in office and hospital settings; yet most of us are unaware of two things that should be — but are not — changing the game in favor of the patient.

prison mesh welded wire copy

In 1986 Congress passed legislation that bad doctors must be reported to a national database called the National Practitioner Data Base [PD2] in order to protect the consumer (The Healthcare Quality Improvement Act). That is you. But you have no access to the database either to report bad doctors or to find out if your doctor is bad. Usually, the only way to discover you have chosen a bad doctor is to find out the hard way, by being exposed to rude, aggressive, dismissive, or harmful treatment yourself. You may get lucky and be part of an private discussion group between patients and hear about some of the bad ones and avoid trouble, even disaster, for yourself. Websites like Vitals.com, etc. submit to pressure from lawyers and doctors to remove feedback that would have negative consequences to the doctors and are not reliable if you are trying to protect yourself from harm.

Every battle has its heroes and for patients and we found two: Bob Wachter and an anonymous emergency doctor (Shadowfax) who runs a fittingly named blog, “Moving Meat.” Both of them acknowledge that today’s medicine puts the priority of the patient well below the protection of the doctor’s career and reputation. Both say the NPDB is not doing its job.

What do you think? What is your experience in today’s medical world? Do you feel safe? Protected? How is the Healthcare Improvement Act working for you?

  • If you are helped by what you read here or if you need to know more about any particular topic, comment below or email me privately at daywriter1@gmail.com.
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    http://community.the-hospitalist.org/2009/06/01/is-hospital-peer-review-a-sham-well-mostly-yes/

    http://allbleedingstops.blogspot.com/2009/06/review-of-peer-review.html

    [PD1]https://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/resources/titleIv.jsp

    [PD2]https://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/topNavigation/aboutUs.jsp

It’s the Polypropylene, Margaret. Not Fit For Humans

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” Benjamin Franklin

Polypropylene has been found to be responsible for more deaths than just mesh patients as a recent examination of MAUDE reports to the FDA reveals. Meanwhile the plastic surgical mesh continues to be sold to patients.

The FDA’s recent announcement that it would reclassify only one application for pelvic mesh is a disaster for anyone wanting to do no harm because in its statement the agency promoted the use of synthetic surgical mesh for other pelvic applications. The only way to protect women from harm and avoid severe and devastating complications is to pressure the FDA to take all synthetic surgical mesh off the market—for good. A failure rate of forty percent (between 37.8 and 44.2%) and an erosion rate of 41.5% percent (see Figure 1. Lee, SY) represents an unacceptable iatrogenic mass casualty no matter how you toss the dice. It’s not the application (vaginal vs abdominal) or the surgical technique that’s harming many thousands of patients, it’s the material itself: the polypropylene.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.44.26 AM

Polypropylene begins its life as crude oil, like any plastic product. Polypropylene is made up of a combination of ingredients combined to produce a product that will resist temperature change and keep its tensile strength when shaped into strands. Microscopically, polypropylene is a polymer—a large molecule composed of many repeating subunits. When polypropylene is stretched into a fiber, its strength is dependent on the quality of ingredients, the width of the strand, and the shape the strand.

438px-Polypropylene_tacticity.svg

Polypropylene Chain

Polypropylene is a favorite child of plastics scientists for containers, automobile parts, rugs, and countless other applications often illustrated on this blog. Patients are told the device is inert, completely safe, does not react with the body yet, it is the same material that is used to make thousands of household 81YYBL4yzwL._SY355_products, like scouring pads. Imagine taking Scotch-Brite Scrub pad and stuffing it into your most private spot.

Polypropylene reactions: Although marketers call mesh inert, when polypropylene materials come in contact with human tissue, both sides of the interchange suffer in very dramatic ways. Plastic mesh reacts, degrades, shrinks, curls, rolls, or migrates in a woman’s body. The human host is vulnerable to allergic reactions, foreign body responses, organ injury and migration of the material. If a patient reacts badly, she is in an alarming predicament: it is nearly impossible to take pelvic mesh out.

Allergic reactions to polypropylene are said to be rare and it is nearly impossible to predict who will react. Allergists disagree on what testing method to use to diagnose an allergy to polypropylene. Foreign body responses are much more common. A few pathologists took a look at hernia mesh and all of the samples they examined demonstrated rejection responses.

POLY IS FOR COAXIAL CABLESAlthough allergists believe that polypropylene carried a low allergic response, they say the longer it is left in the body, the more likely a reaction will occur. The skin is said to spit out a suture sometimes but it is nearly impossible for a body to spit out pelvic mesh.

The same material used in transvaginal mesh was once declared unfit for the human body. In 2013, lawyers uncovered emails showing that CRBard, tried to deny the company knew it was unfit until prosecution lawyers forced them to divulge secret company emails. On Thursday this week, Mostlyn Law filed an injunction against Boston Scientific alleging the corporation smuggled a resin which it added to pelvic mesh products between 2011 and 2012.

•∞•

Recently, I looked at who died from mesh and tripped onto a little known fact–one polypropylene suture, Prolene, was involved in one tenth of the deaths from Ethicon Corporation products—a quarter of all suture-related deaths reported to MedWatch. Over the past decade, Prolene failures were found in 39 of 417 Ethicon product deaths yet the FDA never warned the public about the suture and there is no evidence that the agency is even aware of the problem. MAUDE event descriptions characterized failures leading to deaths from breaks in the suture or knots which unraveled. Reading the stories, I could only imagine the surgeon’s umbrage. After many hours of high-risk surgery where he carefully applied his many years of training and masterful skills to save his patient’s life, he lost his patient—through no fault of his own. A piece of polypropylene suture broke or failed. “All for the want of a nail.”

Prolene maude deaths

Until polypropylene is removed from all medical devices, sadly, women and men will continue to suffer and die.

•∞•

Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. She welcomes any input you may have.

If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, check the list of support groups here.

Subscribe to PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com to learn more about pelvic mesh. I’d like to hear from you if you are helped by what you read here or if you need to know more about any particular topic. Comment below or email me privately at daywriter1@gmail.com.




How to File Your Own Device Complaint to the FDA

printer logoHOW TO FILE YOUR OWN DEVICE COMPLAINT
TO THE FDA –
©Peggy Day

You oe aomeone you know has been hurt by a device. You want to let the FDA know about it, but it is so complicated. Here is a step-by-step guide.

This worksheet works best if you print out these pages and fill them in advance. (Click here for a printable copy)  You’ll be ready to make the best, most effective report you can in one sitting. Settle in with a cuppa tea or whatever relaxes you.

Now: click on this link:   https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=consumer.reporting.home

The first page you should see should look like this:

FDA MEDWATCH FRONT 1

Go ahead and click on “Consumer/Patient.”

On the next page, check the box for medical device.

FDA MEDWATCH 2

 

Next, check everything that applies:

FDA MEDWATCH 3

Write every detail you know about the situation. Don’t hold back, this is the place to let your feelings flow. Don’t worry, you can always file a new report if new information or new details come to you.

FDA MEDWATCH 5

If you have any lab results or information you’d like to make public, add them here.

FDA MEDWATCH 6

Add the date of the event if you know it. (Very important!)

FDA MEDWATCH 7

Here is where you fill in as much information about the device as you know. If you have no idea what the device is, write as much as you do know or write: “Unknown pelvic sling,” “Unknown hernia mesh,” etc. Do your best.

FDA MEDWATCH 8

FDA MEDWATCH 9

Some of the following information will be made available to others. You decide what you want to share.

FDA MEDWATCH 10

FDA MEDWATCH 11

FDA MEDWATCH 12

The following is information to identify the reporter (you). The more information you offer, the more credible your report will be.

FDA MEDWATCH 13

Should you decide to check the box below, be prepared to be contacted by the manufacturer of the device. Remember, their job is to protect the company, not to ensure or provide the best patient care.

FDA MEDWATCH 14

©Peggy Day





22+ Crucial Questions to Ask Surgeon Before Mesh Surgery

 1. What is the operation being recommended? Is it necessary?

 2. Why is the operation necessary?

 3. I am aware that a bladder sling or hernia mesh is made of polypropylene and the material is the same, whether it is called a “tape” or “minitape.” I do not want polypropylene in my body. Are you willing to do the surgery without the use of synthetic surgical mesh? {__ I am allergic to polypropylene (check if applies to you).}

4. What are my alternatives to this procedure? (for example: I am aware the Burch Procedure has the same rate of success as synthetic surgical mesh. Are you able to do an alternative procedure)

 5. What are the benefits of the surgery and how long will those benefits last?

 6. What are the risks and possible complications of having the operation?

 7. What are my possibilities if I choose not to have the surgery?

 8. How many of these surgeries have you performed?

9. For which specialty do you have a board certification?  Urology, Urogynecology, Gynecology, General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery?  Other?

10. Where will my surgery be performed?

11. How long will my operation take?

12. Why type of anesthesia will be administered? If it is not a hospital, is there emergency equipment if I should have trouble with anesthesia? What is the plan for emergencies? 

13. What type of incision will be used? Will it be an open procedure, minimally invasive or laparoscopic?

14. Do you have to cut close to larger nerves to complete this operation?

15. What are my chances for getting new nerve damage?

16. What is the risk of mesh erosion into healthy organs from this surgery?

17. What are my chances for getting a wound infection? What is the hospital’s nosocomial infection rate? Do you provide antibiotic prophylaxis?

18. What are the specific risks of this procedure?

19. What will my operation cost? What else will I be charged for?

20. What can I expect during recovery?

21. How will my life be changed for the good or bad after this operation?

22. How many future surgeries might I expect after this surgery if there are complications?

Added question: Are you planning to have a salesmen in the operating room with you? I do__ do not___ prefer to have a sales representative in the OR with me.

(Click here for download of copy with fill-in-the-blanks.)


 

 POLY IS FOR ADA RAMPS


 

Places to check-up on your surgeon

It is important to have confidence in the doctor who will be doing your surgery and you can make sure that he or she is qualified. Each state licenses its physicians. Take the time to search for:

       “[Name of State] physician license verification” for your own surgeon.

Make sure to check for disciplinary actions taken or whether the license is current. Example here.

  • Ask your primary doctor, your local medical society, or health insurance company for information about the doctor or surgeon’s experience with the procedure.
  • Make certain the doctor or surgeon is affiliated with an accredited health care facility. When considering surgery, where it is done is often as important as who is doing the procedure.

From PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com                        © Peggy Day November 27, 2015