Surgical staplers are used instead of stitches in at least 100,000 operations a year.  Because of the high use of surgical staplers, defective staplers can lead to a large number of injuries and deaths. A review conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that over 100 deaths and 2,100 injuries have resulted from defective surgical staplers.

How Can a Surgical Stapler be Defective?

The following incidents are associated with the use of surgical staplers: 

  • Staples failing to close around the patient’s tissue
  • Staplers failing to release the staples
  • Staplers getting stuck on the patient’s tissue when fired, requiring surgeons to cut away tissue so the stapler can be removed

What Happens when a Defective Surgical Stapler is Used?

In cases where the staples did not close properly or were not release, many patients experienced leaking of fluid or blood.  This was especially true for those who died.  When the staple gun becomes attached to tissue it may require more invasive surgery which entails greater risks and a longer recovery time. 

Who’s Responsible for Defective Surgical Stapler?

The manufacturer of the surgical stapler is responsible for making sure their product is free from defects in its design and manufacture.  Tyco International is a company that has produced many of the surgical staplers in use today.   If you are injured by a defective surgical stapler you may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer. 

Is There Anyone Else who Could be Responsible?

Yes.  Sometimes it isn’t the surgical stapler that is defective but rather some mistake is made by your doctor.  In these cases you may have a medical malpractice claim against your doctor. 

I’ve been Injured by a Surgical Stapler, do I need a Lawyer?

If you have suffered an injury as the result of a surgical stapler, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.  An experienced products liability lawyer can advise you if you believe the surgical stapler was defective.  If you believe your doctor was negligent, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can advise you of you rights and remedies.