A Maryland cancer patient has filed a lawsuit against the maker of Bard Infuse-A-Port, alleging the device fractured and sent fragments into her heart, causing a pulmonary embolism. 

Johanna Randow filed a product liability lawsuit in Arizona federal court on Sept. 19 against C.R. Bard and Bard Access Systems. Randow’s lawsuit joins many others against the company.

The Bard Infuse-A-Port device is an implantable port catheter that allows access to veins for the delivery of medication such as chemotherapy. The port contains a small reservoir for injecting medication, with a silicone or polyurethane catheter that rests inside the vein.

Complaints against the company allege the device is faulty and causes an increased risk of damage to organs, infection or blood clots. People are filing Bard PowerPort lawsuits because they claim the company hasn’t done enough to warn users of the potential harm the device can cause, including death.

Damage Caused Years After Device Removed

Randow was implanted with the Bard Infuse-A-Port device in late April 2018 as part of her chemotherapy treatment, the complaint states. A year later, in July 2019, the port was removed because it wasn’t functioning. 

Two years later, in November 2021, Randow developed a pulmonary embolism. Later medical testing showed she had a fragmented portion of the catheter lodged in her heart, according to the complaint.

Lawyers state that one or more fragments of the Infuse-A-Port remain in or around Randow’s heart, exposing her to the risk of future injuries. Randow “will also worry every day of the rest of her life if today is the day that a catheter fragment causes additional injury,” the complaint states.

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Bard PowerPort Injuries

Several Bard PowerPort models were recalled in March 2020 because the devices contained the wrong tunneler tips. Another issue with the device is the tubing. The port sends medication through a small plastic tube that can crack, causing bacteria to build up. 

Over time, the pressure from the injection flow can also cause plastic fragments to be released into the bloodstream. The fragments can cause abnormal heart rhythms, blood clots, ruptured blood vessels or punctures in the heart. 

PowerPorts can also cause pulmonary embolisms, like in Randow’s case. A sudden blockage of a blood vessel in the lungs is typically triggered by a blood clot that travels from another part of the body. It can be life-threatening.

Bard PowerPort complications include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Confusion
  • Drainage at the port site
  • Fever
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney problems
  • Swelling

Becton, Dickinson and Company, the medical technology company that makes and sells the Bard PowerPort, could have known about these issues for years. Allegations against BD claim it concealed thousands of reports from doctors and patients citing injuries caused by Bard PowerPort device failures. 

Lawyers are still taking cases for patients who were implanted with a Bard PowerPort device and experienced a related injury such as blood clots, cardiac punctures, hemorrhage, infection, necrosis, long-lasting or severe pain, or tearing or perforating of blood vessels, organs or tissue.

There is a statute of limitations for these cases and those who are beyond that timeframe will not be able to file a claim.