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Drug-coated stents carry risks

Medical devices are designed to help, not hurt. But not all medical devices live up to their mission. Some defective medical devices leave Texans worse off than if they had not used the device at all. When that happens, Texans have choices to make. One choice is whether to pursue legal action, a choice that can not only hold the responsible party accountable but also yield financial help at a time when it is dearly needed.

Consider stents. A stent is a small tube shaped like a lattice that is permanently inserted into a person's artery or blood vessel. The idea is that the stent opens passageways that have become clogged by plaque.

Drug-coated stents are thought to be an improvement on the original concept. They are coated with a drug that is gradually released to fight arterial scarring and reduce other risks.

These devices entered the market in the early 2000s. But by the mid-2000s the Food and Drug Administration began to closely monitor the devices. More recently, new data indicates that these devices carry a small but serious risk that the stents cause blood clotting in the stent's location.

But blood clotting is hardly the only risk that these devices create. Others include infection, bleeding, ruptured ducts, allergic reactions and in-stent restenosis (i.e., clogging of the stent's interior). In rare instances, a person may also experience chest pain, tearing of blood vessels and even a heart attack.

Texans who suffer these or other injuries because a medical-device manufacturer failed to make its product as safe as reasonably possible may want to discuss their situation with an experienced defective-medical-device attorney.