January 31, 2023
Healthcare law – a year in review.
Over the course of the last year, there have been many interesting judgements in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in relation to healthcare and personal injury law....
Surgical mesh has been widely used since the late 1950s to treat a range of medical conditions including hernias, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
While the vast majority of patients who are treated using a vaginal mesh implant make a complete recovery, in some cases, the mesh causes internal physical damage. For those who have suffered serious health complications as a result of the use of vaginal mesh tape, it may be possible to make a claim if the damage was the result of medical negligence. A claim can ensure that the matter is properly investigated, and appropriate action taken by the health organisation who was responsible for your care. It may also be possible to seek financial recourse for the pain, suffering, loss of function, and costs incurred as a result of the damage caused.
Vaginal mesh (also referred to as urogynaecological mesh) has the appearance of netting and comes in a variety of forms, including, tape, ribbon, and a sling.
In the case of vaginal mesh procedures, the mesh is used to support the weight of a pelvic organ (i.e. uterus, bladder, or rectum), which in many women drops out of position, often following childbirth or during menopause. Pelvic organs drop out of their normal position as a result of the weakening of or damage to ligaments and pelvic floor muscles, typically placing pressure on other internal structures. As a result of the sagging/dropping of the pelvic organ, patients can suffer from urinary incontinence, loss of sensation, difficulty urinating, and pain.
The purpose of the mesh is to support the weight of the prolapsed pelvic organ, which the surgeon achieves by suturing or using special tissue fixation devices. This then places the uterus, bladder, or rectum back into its original position, relieving pressure and pain, and allowing normal function.
In some very limited cases, mesh exposure or erosion can occur. Erosion means that the mesh cuts or damages nearby structures including the vaginal wall. This can cause scarring, fistulas, infection, serious tissue damage, pain the back and legs. Due to the nature of the damage caused, treatment can be problematic and can lead to permanent injury. According to the Health Service Executive (HSE), the symptoms of failed vaginal mesh surgery may include:
If you suspect you, or a loved one is showing signs of a possible problem following implantation of surgical mesh, it is important to seek an assessment by an experienced urogynecologist or urologist who specialises in pelvic surgery. There is an established hospital pathway for patients with concerns relating to vaginal mesh complications, and hence your case should be properly and thoroughly assessed.
To bring a claim for damage caused by vaginal mesh medical negligence, it will be necessary to provide evidence that:
To prove your case, we will compile evidence including medical records, and where necessary, seek expert medical opinion.
Claims following vaginal mesh medical negligence may cover two areas of loss:
The costs you receive will be based on the precise injuries suffered and the circumstances of the case.
By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
For further information on making a claim for injury resulting from vaginal mesh medical negligence in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at firstname.lastname@example.org
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
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