NuvaRing Court Case
Written by Steve Fields on July 14, 2012
Several medical studies have indicated a link between NuvaRing and blood clots. Please contact us for updates on the Nuvaring court case MDL litigation. The most recent study was published in the British Medical Journal in May 2012. Researchers in Denmark followed 1.6 million women (none had existing clotting disorders) from 2001 and 2010, noting the incidence rate of venous thrombosis among those using the vaginal ring. They discovered there was a significantly higher risk of blood clots in women using this birth control product compared to those taking combined oral contraceptives.
When blood clots (thrombi) form as a result of using the birth control ring, they tend to do so in the legs. This can set the stage for numerous health issues, including stroke and pulmonary embolism. We’ll describe each of these conditions below, and provide an overview of the most common methods used to treat them. If you have used the vaginal ring, and believe it caused any of the following problems, consult a NuvaRing lawsuit attorney to discuss filing a claim for compensation.
Blood Clots In The Legs
The legs contain superficial veins and deep veins. The former are found near the surface of the skin; the latter are found more deeply, beneath the muscles and running alongside arteries. Thrombi can form in the deep veins, where they cling to the vessels’ walls. This is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Over time, with the continued use of the vaginal ring, it is possible for clots in the deep veins to grow. As they do so, they narrow the passage through which blood is able to flow. This can cause pain in the ankles and legs, swelling, and even discoloration on the skin. As DVT continues to worsen, it can lead to post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) and severe forms of thrombosis where the vessels becomes almost entirely blocked.
Anticoagulant medications are the most common form of treatment for DVT. Many doctors also recommend compression stockings. These are elastic stockings that are worn around the calves. They exert pressure, which encourages blood flow to the heart. For severe cases of deep vein thrombosis, clot-busting medicines known as thrombolytics may be necessary. These are designed to dissolve blood clots.
Pulmonary Embolism: When Clots Reach The Lungs
The biggest danger with NuvaRing side effects involving blood clots in the legs is that they might become detached from the vessels’ walls. If this happens, they can travel to the heart.
The deep veins in the lower body are connected to a large blood vessel known as the inferior vena cava (IVC). It begins in the abdomen and climbs to the heart, draining blood into the right atrium. If a blood clot in one of the leg veins breaks free (becoming an embolus), it can travel into the IVC and be carried along until it reaches this chamber.
The right atrium pumps blood to the right ventricle. The right ventricle pumps the blood into the pulmonary artery. This artery splits into secondary arteries that carry blood to the lungs. An embolus that arrives in the right atrium will follow this same path. If it becomes stuck in one of the arteries of the lungs, it will cause a pulmonary embolism.
Anticoagulants or clot-busting drugs may be given. In severe cases, a surgeon may need to open the blocked pulmonary artery to remove the offending clot. The procedure is called a pulmonary thromboendarterectomy.
Stroke: When A Thrombus Reaches The Brain
An ischemic stroke occurs when a thrombus blocks the passage of blood through one of the arteries supplying the brain. This can happen when a clot forms in the vessel, or migrates there from elsewhere. Due to the anatomy, a clot that originates in the legs is very unlikely to reach the brain. However, a Danish study published in 2007 indicated that patients suffering from DVT are at far greater risk of stroke.
The study included more than 200,000 people, and followed them for 20 years. The researchers found that the subjects with a DVT were twice as likely to suffer a stroke than subjects who had never had one.
Studies have shown that venous thrombosis is a serious risk when using the vaginal ring. It can lead to medical emergencies, such as pulmonary embolism and stroke, both of which may become life-threatening. Even when patients survive, they often have lifelong impairments.
If, after using the birth control ring, you developed blood clots in the legs or suffered a stroke or pulmonary embolism, you may be able to file a NuvaRing lawsuit claim. Contact an experienced birth control ring lawyer to discuss your legal options and the most recent Nuvaring court case MDL news.