Brain stents, which are used by cardiac surgeons to open up a blocked artery and are designed to prevent strokes in high-risk individuals, may paradoxically and tragically actually increase the risk of stroke and death. How much more? According to a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, patients receiving brain stents were found to have twice the rate of strokes and death compared to those without brain stents. The risks became so apparent that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke called off enrollment in a clinical trial.
This is awful. Should someone who received a Stryker Gateway-Wingspan intracranial angioplasty and stenting system file a lawsuit against Stryker because these brain stents are defective?
I have no idea. At this point, at least from this study, it seems clear that brain stents are a bad idea for those at risk of a stroke. Should Stryker have known this? It is easy for plaintiffs’ lawyers to pile on and start assuming this study means they should start suing Stryker. Ultimately, that may well be the case. But we need a lot more information about what Stryker knew, what it should have known, and when.