Attorneys are investigating claims of injuries caused from a port-a-cath rupture, fracture, or migration. A port catheter, also known as a port-a-cath or chemoport is a small implanted medical device that is commonly used to help administer medications directly to a patient’s bloodstream.
It is believed that cheap materials were used and suggested safety protocols not followed in the manufacturing of the catheter. Thus, the integrity of the material composition of the catheter can deteriorate, which could cause the catheter to rupture, fracture and migrate away from the port. Small shatteredpieces of the fractured catheter can travel through the blood stream and puncture or get stuck in organs like the lungs or heart.
Attorneys also believe that some port-a-cath’s can leak allowing fluids such as chemotherapy drugs into the chest cavity around the port. This could result in a severe infection causing necrosis of skin tissue (skin dies, recesses, and turns black).
Port catheter migration symptoms have long been noted in peer-reviewed research. Some of the most common symptoms reported by patients who had a port-a-cath that migrated, ruptured, or fractured include:
Anyone experiencing any of these port-a-cath migration symptoms should immediately consult their doctor or healthcare professional.
Numerous reports and articles have found that the catheters begin to degrade and fracture over time, which can cause the catheter, or pieces of it, to migrate away from the port. This can be an extremely dangerous issue as the pieces that fragment from the port-a-cath often migrate into the heart and can become embedded there, resulting in a life-threatening situation that may require open-heart surgery to resolve.
The most comprehensive study of complications related to the long-term implant of port catheters was published in 2020. The study reviewed more than 90,000 patients and found that 59% of all patients implanted with a port-a-cath had developed some type of complication.
Port Catheters are designed to be a temporary access point, and are normally removed within weeks or months. However, over the past decade it has become more and more common to see port catheters left implanted for years.
Unfortunately, these devices were not originally designed to be permanent, and overtime can be prone to malfunction causing serious injuries, including but not limited to:
A more serious concern are the reports that the catheter end of some port catheters is cracking, fracturing, dislodging, and breaking apart. These fractured pieces of the catheter can enter into the bloodstream and become lodged in the heart or lungs, a life-threatening situation that may require emergency surgery.