Bellwether Trial against C.R. Bard Moved to January Next Year

The third and last vaginal mesh bellwether trial against C.R. Bard has been moved to January 10, 2014, according to a court order issued by Judge Joseph Goodwin of the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The vaginal mesh claim of Carolyn Jones was previously scheduled to commence on December 3, 2013.

After three postponements, the final bellwether case against C.R.Bard, which is included in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in West Virginia is expected to finally push through in early January next year.

The results of this trial have been seen by legal observers as very crucial in determining the course of action that may be taken by C.R. Bard involving the thousands of pending lawsuits in this MDL. Experts believe that the company may opt to settle all valid pending cases should the decision of the jury favor the plaintiff.

Already, C.R. Bard has been found liable in two previous cases heard in California and in West Virginia just this August. A total of $7 million in damages have been awarded to Christine Scott and Donna Cisson. This New Jersey-based company also decided to settle two other vaginal mesh lawsuits very recently.

Read More: Final C. R. Bard Bellwether Vaginal Mesh Trial Postponed Until January

SUI Twice as Likely After a Hysterectomy

Having a hysterectomy or the surgical removal of the uterus, according to a study recently published in the medical journal The Lancet, may not only cause vaginal vault prolapse but may also increase the risk of urinary incontinence. Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden reported that women who had hysterectomy are more than twice as likely to undergo a surgical procedure for urinary incontinence in the future.

Hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure in the United State with over 600,000 operations performed annually, next only to a caesarian section operation. This surgical procedure may be performed for treating medical conditions such as uterine fibroids, irregular heavy menstrual bleeding, and to repair a prolapse of the uterus. On the other hand, with over 18 million women believed to be affected, urinary incontinence is the most common pelvic floor disorder.

In undertaking this study, Dr. Daniel Altman and his team of researchers gathered data on 644,766 Swedish women using a nationwide hospital discharge registry for the years 1973 to 2003. A total of 165,260 women were determined to have had hysterectomies, while the remaining 479,506 respondents who were of the same age bracket did not have any surgical procedures to remove the uterus.

Analysis of the data indicated that regardless of the type of hysterectomy performed; women who had their uterus removed were 2.4 times more likely to have surgeries for urinary incontinence. This risk was found to be highest within five years from time the uterus was removed although the risk remains during the patient’s lifetime. It was shown that if the hysterectomy was done before their menopause or after giving births, the risk of getting urinary incontinence further increased.

The connection between urinary incontinence and hysterectomy may have been validated by the results of this study although medical specialists have long suspected this. This confirmation may have significant implications to both the patient and the attending physician.

Before making a final decision, a woman who might consider having a hysterectomy may be made aware of the risks involved in such a procedure. On the part of the healthcare provider, knowledge of this possible consequence may prompt her to assess the circumstances more carefully before suggesting this procedure.

This becomes even more significant during these times with the controversy involving vaginal sling procedures, a treatment method for SUI that has been favored by a big number of urogynecologic medical practitioners. Severe complications experienced by thousands of patients have reportedly resulted from the use of these surgical mesh devices. These complaints have even come from women who were recommended to have sling procedures together with their hysterectomy.

Thousands of patients who were implanted with these mesh devices have allegedly sustained serious injuries causing pain and suffering, permanent disability, and considerable physical deformity. Legal actions such as the filing of vaginal mesh lawsuits against different mesh manufacturers have been resorted to by these injured patients.