Personal Injury with the Use of Alloderm
There are some products that are used in surgery which are not considered medications, biological materials or devices which may still result in personal injury. One such product is the AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix (AlloDerm) from manufacturer LifeCell based in New Jersey. It is a banked acellular human tissue graft most commonly used as a support system in breast reconstructive surgery, burn grafting, dental grafting, eyelid reconstruction and hernia repair. It is ideal for use in tissue grafting because it has been stripped of all cells, leaving only the lattice of collagen behind which will not be identified as foreign material by the body, avoiding tissue rejection. It is often harvested from human cadavers.
Unfortunately, AlloDerm is not particularly effective and may be even downright dangerous when used in certain types of hernia repairs. According to an article on the website of Williams Kherkher, the main problem with AlloDerm hernia patches is that it tends to fail, necessitating additional repair operations and often leading to infections, swelling, pain, abscesses and contusions. Patients who were provided with an AlloDerm hernia patch after the year 2000 and experienced serious side effects may be eligible for compensation from LifeCell and should contact a product liability lawyer in the area immediately. Currently, about 300 personal injury lawsuits have been filed against the AlloDerm manufacturer.
Several studies conclude that bridging the gap using AlloDerm is more likely to result in a recurrence of a ventral (abdominal) hernia because the mesh is unable to provide enough support. However, AlloDerm still has its uses as reinforcement once the primary fascial reapproximation of the hernia is performed. This means that the gap must be closed before the AlloDerm can be used, and its role is that of secondary support. In such cases, recurrence is much lower.
But this does not mean LifeCell is off the hook. As the developer, manufacturer and marketer of the product, LifeCell had a duty to its clients to thoroughly test the product, provide explicit instructions on its safe use, and not to make false claims. In failing to do any or all of the above, LifeCell becomes liable for any injury that patients may sustain from the use of the product.