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Posted On: December 19, 2012 by Altman & Altman

Plaintiff of NuvaRing Lawsuit Blames the Birth Control Device for Pulmonary Embolism

Another woman has filed a NuvaRing lawsuit suing Merck for products liability. In her defective medical device/dangerous drug complaint, Angela Denise Washington claims she developed a pulmonary embolism a few months after she started taking the popular internal birth control device in 2004.

NuvaRing is a vaginal ring that the user inserts close to the cervix. This is a hormonal contraceptive device that contains progestin and estrogen and it is Food and Drug Administration-approved. It. The ring releases the hormones into the body. A woman is supposed to remove the ring after three weeks and her menstrual cycle usually begins a couple of days later. Following a weeklong break, she is supposed to insert another ring into her body.

Last year, however, FDA published a birth control study that showed that compared to older birth control pills, the NuvaRing, which is an internal contraceptive, upped the risk of blood clots by 56%. There was also a study this year in the British Medical Journal that found that NuvaRing and other non-oral birth control devices generally come with a greater blood clot risk than oral contraceptives that are made of with the same hormone combination.

PE is a sudden blockage that develops in the lung artery. The block is usually a result of a blood clot that went from a leg vein to the lung area. A pulmonary embolism can be a complication of deep vein thrombosis. It may damage the lung, cause pulmonary hypertension, decrease oxygen levels in the blood, cause organ damage, and can even lead to death. Other serious side effects that can be grounds for these dangerous drug/defective medical device complaints include deep vein thrombosis, stroke, blood clot, heart attack, cerebral thrombosis, myocardial infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, venous thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, and toxic shock syndrome.

Already, hundreds of NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed by women seeking damages. Many of the products lawsuits contend that Merck neglected to properly warn consumers about these serious risks and/or that marketing materials for NuvaRing made it appears as if using this form of contraception was as safe as taking birth control pills. The first NuvaRing injury trials are scheduled for the middle of 2013.

Meantime, Federal Judge Sippel, who is presiding over a thousands NuvaRing cases has said that Merck must unseal certain documents related to the injuries and allegations. The federal NuvaRing cases have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

People who have suffered injuries or serious side effects from a dangerous drug or a defective medical device are usually able to file a products liability lawsuit suing a manufacturer, distributor and or seller—depending on where the defect occurred during the production process. There may even be more than one liable party. Also, even if the product wasn’t defective but was inherently dangerous as is and when used as intended, you still may be able to recover personal injury/wrongful death damages.

FDA REPORT: Combined Hormonal Contraceptives (CHCs) and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Endpoints (PDF)


More Blog Posts:

Risk of Stroke May Go Up When Taking Yaz Birth Control Pills, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 20, 2012

Use of Ocella Birth Control Pill May Cause Higher Stroke Risk, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, October 3, 2012

Boston Dangerous Drug Lawsuits: YAZ, Ocella, and Yasmin Birth Control Pills Linked to Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, Heart Attack, and Myocardial Infarction Side Effects, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, June 19, 2012