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Common Issues with Implanted Port Devices

Implanted port devices, also known as port-a-cath devices, can provide patients who require regular intravenous treatment easy, convenient access to their veins. However, manufacturer negligence can cause a number of issues that can result in serious, severe complications in these patients.

If you or a loved one has suffered complications from an implanted port device, please contact the Dickerson Oxton Law Firm today to discuss your case. You may be eligible for compensation for your damages.

Why Choose Us?

The Dickerson Oxton Law Firm provides exceptional representation for all clients who have been injured due to dangerous or defective medical devices.

  • We are well-known for our success, securing a favorable outcome in over 98% of all cases we represent.
  • We take a collaborative approach to all of our cases, ensuring that our best lawyers are all involved in the litigation process to maximize recovery.
  • We represent clients on a contingency fee basis – there are no upfront costs, and you only pay for our services if we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Common Complications from Implanted Port Devices

Some of the most common complications from dangerous or defective implanted port devices are due to catheter failure. An implanted port is composed of two parts: a catheter installed in the vein, and a port that is attached to the catheter and implanted underneath the skin. This port is made of self-sealing material so that it can be punctured multiple times by needles without consequence.

In many of these cases, the catheter itself can fail, either breaking or detaching completely from the apparatus. These are the most common complications as a result of catheter failure.

Catheter Fracture

Another common issue is when catheter fracture occurs. This results when, all or some of the, catheter snaps off of the implanted port device and gets swept up in the bloodstream. This can cause further fragments to break off the already-broken catheter, moving them to other vital organs in the body.

These sharp fragments can cause a number of complications, including:

  • Lacerations of vessels
  • Hematoma, bleeding of large blood vessels
  • Blood clotting, which can travel to other organs and cause blockages

Cardiac Punctures

In the most serious cases, this can cause a pulmonary embolism – a sudden blockage of an artery in the lung. This can be fatal without immediate medical intervention and can cause permanent damage to a patients’ lungs.


Those who have had implanted port devices for a long period of time may be at a high risk of infection due to the degradation of the catheter. As time goes by, the catheter is subject to wear and tear – causing tiny micro-cracks along the tube. These cracks are small enough to let in opportunistic pathogens and bacteria, but they are often not large enough for the body’s immune cells to pass through. This results in an infection without an immune response to mitigate it, causing such severe complications as:

  • Redness and swelling at the implanted port site
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Necrosis of the tissues around the implanted port site

These infections can be further exacerbated by the health of the patients, namely those who are often immunocompromised and in otherwise poor health condition.

Catheter Dislodgement/migration

In some cases, the whole catheter itself is not tethered directly to the tissue. This can cause the catheter to dislodge completely and migrate to other parts of the body. This is generally not as severe as catheter fracture, as dislodged catheters tend to remain whole for the duration.

However, the stress and additional pain involved with the removal procedure can be another burden on the patient. Not only will they be required to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the catheter, but they may also require further procedures to remove the broken implanted port and replace it with a new one. This is more pain and suffering that should not be required of a patient who is already going through a difficult situation.

Who is Liable for Implanted Port Complications?

In many of these situations, catheter failure is primarily due to the careless actions of the implanted port device manufacturer. Catheters on their own may not be durable enough to withstand long-term installation. However, there are methods to reinforce catheters using coatings, additives, or other procedures. If the manufacturer has failed to undergo such measures, they should be held fully liable for any subsequent complications and injuries.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has suffered complications in an implanted port device due to manufacturer negligence, please contact us immediately via our online contact form or by phone at (816) 268-1960. We want to help you secure the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.

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