Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

Medical devices that can make receiving routine injections quick and painless are welcomed by patients. The Bard PowerPorts, an implantable catheter device, was created to provide patients with this when receiving intravenous medications. Unfortunately, many patients have suffered injuries from these devices due to fracturing and migration.

Lawsuits allege that the problems with the Bard PowerPort catheters arise from the use of high concentrations of barium sulfate. This weakens the strength of the catheter and allows microfractures, deterioration, fissuring, and cracking to occur.

The fractures in the catheter cause small fragments to travel throughout the bloodstream resulting in vascular damage and other injuries.

Lawsuits being filed claim that Becton Dickinson and its subsidiaries have known about the high rate of the catheters fracturing, migrating, and causing infections and other complications since the early 2000s.


What is the Bard PowerPort?

Bard PowerPorts are port catheter devices that help carry medicine and other fluids into the body. Placed under the skin to provide repeated access to the vascular system, the device simplifies the administration of medication, IV fluids, nutrition, or blood products into a patient’s bloodstream.

They are commonly used for chemotherapy in cancer patients.

The Bard PowerPort system consists of two parts:

  • A polyurethane catheter tube used to deliver the medication into the blood vessel
  • Injection site where the needle is inserted to administer the medication

The device has a titanium and plastic housing and uses a polyurethane material called ChronoFlex AL. This material is a mixture of polyurethane and barium sulfate. There is a silicone septum for medication access and catheters for fluid delivery and blood withdrawal. The port connects to a catheter that links to a large central vein, allowing medication to enter the bloodstream. (description from

What is the problem with Bard PowerPorts?

Patients and doctors have reported the Bard PowerPort may fracture. Design and manufacturing flaws make it prone to fracturing and migrating out of position. This can lead to severe injuries, including vascular damage.

The design of the device allows the injection’s flow to rise, creating pressures against the tubing. A tiny crack that the barium sulfate tubing caused could become a breeding ground for bacteria and plastic pieces are released into the blood as the pressure builds up over time. Infection originating at the port site is one complication.

Lawsuits claim that this allegedly defective design raises the risk of developing blood clots, organ damage, and infections. Defects in design can result in excessive injection levels and an increased risk for catheter disintegration.

Many patients have suffered severe health issues because of an issue with the catheter tube.

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Injuries and Complications

The defects in the device’s design and manufacturing have been linked to various injuries after the device has been implanted, including:

  • Catheter fracture
  • Break
  • Migration
  • Infection
  • Leakage at the port site
  • Dislodgement of the catheter from the implant port

blood clots implantable catheter fracturing migration

A fractured catheter can cause significant internal damage when tiny fragments of plastic tubing break off and circulate in the bloodstream.

  • Blood clots
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cardiac punctures
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Tearing of blood vessels

Catheter migration happens when the  tube used to access the body cavities and the vascular system moves from its intended position to another location, causing problems such as:

  • Infection
  • Organ perforation
  • Organ damage
  • Catheter failure
  • Obstruction of blood flow

Bacteria buildup in the small fissures and cracks caused by the breakdown of the barium sulfate can lead to serious infections.  Infections may include:

  • Klebsiella
  • Staphylococci
  • Candida

These infections can be life-threatening for those with weakened immune systems, like cancer patients.

Who Uses the Bard PowerPort Device?

cancer patient Bard PowerPort catheterBard PowerPorts are commonly used for chemotherapy in cancer patients, such as:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic and Liver cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

Safer Alternative? Failure to Warn?

In addition to the design and manufacturing defect, lawsuits are alleging a failure to warn, claiming that the device manufacturer knew of these problems for several years and was aware of safer design alternatives.

A study published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation in 2010 found that the release of barium sulfate contributes to catheter surface defects that could increase the risk of fracturing and bacterial proliferation. Researchers stated that a coating of polyurethane could prevent these issues from causing injuries to patients.

Lawsuits claim the manufacturer chose not to alter the design and use a safer alternative.


Have you:

  • Received a Bard PowerPort or other implantable port catheter?
  • Did your port catheter fracture, crack, or migrate?

Have you experienced any of these complications or injuries:

  • Perforations of tissues, vessels, and organs
  • Infections (sepsis or septic shock)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Hemorrhaging or bleeding injuries
  • Fluid buildup on the heart
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Severe and persistent pain

Call today to find out if you have a case – (877) 284-6600. One of our Bard PowerPort lawyers can tell you if you qualify to file a lawsuit.

Our Bard PowerPort lawyers will advocate on your behalf and handle the legal process for you, such as:

  • Verifying your eligibility through a free, no-obligation review of your case.
  • Gathering evidence needed to build your case.
  • Filing your lawsuit, meeting any state deadlines and statute of limitations.
  • Negotiating a settlement or presenting your case in court if no settlement is reached.


Bard PowerPort lawsuits

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries due to a Bard PowerPort, contact the law offices of Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.

Find out if you have a case.



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