Doctor with Cancer Raises Alarm about Morcellators

Doctor with Cancer Raises Alarm about Morcellators

Posted By Golomb & Honik, P.C. || 10-Aug-2015

Patients who have suffered serious harm due to a defective medical device or dangerous drug surely wonder whether the FDA is really going the extra mile to safeguard consumers from potentially harmful devices and drugs. Two doctors in Philadelphia believe the FDA is absolutely not protecting consumers. The couple is literally in the fight of their life to try and prevent others from dealing with the same type of medical nightmare they have faced.

Anesthesiologist, Dr. Amy Reed and her husband, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm have been on a campaign for more than a year to ban a specific procedure they feel is responsible for Amy’s diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Reed underwent surgery to remove fibroids in her uterus. During this procedure, the fibroids are shredded, then removed through small incisions via a device known as a power morcellator. Unfortunately, among women who have leiomyosarcoma cancer hidden in those fibroids, ground-up pieces of the cancer can be left inside the body, spreading the virulent cancer throughout the body.

The Fight to Ban Power Morcellators

Reed’s cancerous cells spread to her abdomen, leading the couple to start a petition to convince the FDA to ban the use of power morcellators when used to remove uterine fibroids. Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital reviewed the procedure, and made the decision to limit occasions when the procedure would be used. After Noorchashm and Reed began their petition, articles were published in the JAMA which questioned the safety of the procedure.

As the couple continued their fight, one German company which manufactures power morcellators threated legal action against Noorchashm, claiming the campaign against power morcellators defames the manufacturer. One letter to Noorchashm from Storz said the company would not tolerate the Noorchashm’s allegations. Noorchashm refused to back down, claiming the company’s Storz morcellator was used by a Boston surgeon, causing his wife’s undetected cancer to spread throughout her abdominal cavity.

No Recall of Power Morcellators by the FDA

Nationwide, approximately 60,000 surgical procedures are performed each year in the United States using a power morcellator. The FDA estimates one in 350 women may develop a deadly form of cancer when they undergo procedures using a morcellator. Although the FDA did alert doctors regarding the risks related to power morcellators, the agency does not believe there is sufficient evidence to recall morcellators. Storz is one of many morcellator manufacturers. Johnson & Johnson is also facing lawsuits related to power morcellators.

Fighting Recurrence of Uterine Cancer Caused by Power Morcellator

Dr. Reed claims she was never warned of any potential risks associated with power morcellators. Reed and Noorchashm have six children under the age of 12. After a year in apparent remission, Reed is now fighting a recurrence of her uterine cancer. In March, 2015, Reed underwent surgery to remove a tumor in her spinal column and was set to follow up with radiation. The couple and their children moved back to the Philadelphia area where they have extended family. Nonetheless, the couple vows to continue to fight against the use of power morcellators and believe the FDA should have increased their efforts to protect consumers.

Lawsuits Against Morcellator Manufacturers Increase

Reed and Noorchashm have even spoken to FBI investigators, believing the use of morcellators is a violation of federal law which has led to the loss of life for many women. A wrongful death lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania claims a 53-year old wife and mother died from uterine cancer less than a year following a hysterectomy using a power morcellator. A power morcellator lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New York claims a robot-assisted hysterectomy using a power morcellator was responsible for a diagnosis of uterine cancer. It is expected that many more morcellator lawsuits will be filed as time passes.

National Dangerous Drug Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with advanced stage uterine cancer after your physician used a morcellator during your hysterectomy, you may be able to file a lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

The national product liability lawyers at Golomb & Honik have successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the United States.

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