Nearly 300 patients have filed suit against Atrium, claiming the company’s C-Qur family of hernia mesh implants is defective. In all, the C-Qur product line encompasses seven separate products:
- C-Qur Mesh – indicated for use in hernia repair, chest wall reconstruction and for the closure of traumatic or surgical wounds
- C-Qur V-Patch – indicated for use in the repair of small hernia and other small abdominal wall openings
- C-Qur Tacshield – indicated for the repair of medium to large-size open ventral hernias
- C-Qur FX – indicated for certain open and laparoscopic hernia repairs
- C-Qur CentriFX – indicated for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair
- C-Qur Mosaic – indicated for certain open and laparoscopic hernia repairs
- C-Qur Film – (not available in US) – indicated to assist in abdominal and pelvic surgeries to reduce the risk of postoperative adhesions
While the meshes vary in name and indication, each product shares a strikingly similar design. The mesh itself consists of a patch woven from fibers of polypropylene, a synthetic polymer used widely in consumer products. Surrounding this polypropylene patch is a coating of Omega 3 fatty acids, derived from fish oil and intended to act as a protective barrier against adhesions.
Polypropylene & Fish Oil
In their lawsuits, Plaintiffs point out two alleged problems with this design:
- polypropylene is biologically incompatible with human tissue, “promot[ing] an immune response in a large subset of the population”
- fish oils are commonly considered to be allergenic and immunogenic, intensifying allergic responses and immune system effects
In short, the materials from which C-Qur hernia mesh patches are made incite severe immune system responses in many patients, the plaintiffs write. In turn, they continue, these immune system responses increase the likelihood that a patch will break down prematurely inside the body, leading to a host of adverse health consequences. Atrium Medical had full knowledge of these risks, the patients say, but rather than inform the public, the company chose to lie about the product’s safety.
Dangers Of Hernia Mesh Highlighted In C-Qur Lawsuits
Physicians often use surgical mesh products to patch up traumatic wounds, close openings left by invasive operations or add support to muscles weakened by a hernia.
While common, the use of hernia mesh has come under fire in recent years, as thousands of patients have reported serious complications:
- severe pain
- adhesion (mesh becomes attached to internal organs, impairing organ infection and increasing the risk of fistula)
- fistula (the creation of an abnormal passageway between internal organs)
- internal bleeding
- organ perforation
Alongside these risks stands the substantial danger of a total device failure, the US Food & Drug Administration reports. Mesh products can migrate inside the body, threatening the integrity of surrounding organs. In many cases, surgeons have discovered fragments of hernia mesh that literally disintegrated, making total removal nearly impossible. Some mesh products have even been found to increase the likelihood of hernia recurrence, forcing patients back into the operating room for an invasive revision procedure.
Patients Claim Mesh Patches Led To Horrific Injuries
The injuries reported in C-Qur lawsuits, however, may be even more terrific. Many plaintiffs claim to have undergone repeated hernia repair procedures involving Atrium’s family of hernia mesh products – suffering repeated injuries and complications as a result.
Man Says Repeat Mesh Implants Intensified Complications
In a case filed on March 16, 2017, a man from Wyoming tells the devastating story of his own efforts to have two abdominal hernias repaired. Suffering from epigastric and umbilical hernias, the man underwent his first procedure in March of 2013, receiving two C-Qur Mesh patches in the process.
Less than five months after his surgery, Plaintiff returned to his surgeon with a hernia recurrence, the complaint states. The doctor found a “palpable bulge” directly above one of the patient’s implanted C-Qur meshes, but decided against performing a revision procedure immediately.
Severe Mesh Infection & Emergency Surgery
An emergency procedure, however, would become necessary two months later, when the man again presented to his surgeon, this time suffering from excruciating pain. One of the patient’s hernias had become incarcerated, the doctor found, as portions of an internal organ forced their way through his weakened abdominal wall. The man was rushed into surgery, court documents report, where physicians discovered pieces of his bowel had entered the hernia, leading to widespread inflammation and blood vessel rupture. After repairing the problem, the man’s surgeon closed the abdominal wall with yet another Atrium-made C-Qur Mesh hernia patch.