Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 18, 2014 - Johnson and Johnson has issued a global recall as evidence mounts that a commonly used surgical device can accelerate the spread of uterine cancer.
The recalled device is a laparoscopic surgical instrument known as a power morcellator, frequently used for minimally-invasive hysterectomies and for the removal of uterine fibroids. The morcellator grinds tissue into smaller pieces for later vacuuming, according to Medical Daily.
New research published in major medical journals suggests that if the tissue being treated contains cancerous or precancerous cells, the device can spread those cells across a wide area and hasten cancer development.
“Although the company may not have acted maliciously, it seems that Johnson and Johnson indeed produced, marketed and profited from a device capable of aggravating a serious and often-fatal illness,” said John Hale, a Texas attorney who has represented a number of defective medical device claims. “The company has done the right thing in recalling the device. Now, attention should turn to the victims whose lives have been damaged or taken.”
According to Medical Daily, use of the device was initially stopped this spring after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the increased cancer risk. The FDA’s warning suggests that all power morcellation devices are capable of causing the increased cancer risk, but, according to Medical Daily, the Johnson and Johnson device represents 72 percent of the market.
Data from the new research suggests that age is a significant risk factor for undetected uterine cancer. As a result, women over 50, and especially women over 65, are statistically more likely to be negatively affected by the use of this device.
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