HomeLifestyleYears of heavy bleeding led to mums hysterectomy – now she want to change law
Years of heavy bleeding led to mums hysterectomy – now she want to change law
A mother of four who had a hysterectomy after suffering years of heavy bleeding she believes was caused by a faulty medical device is backing a campaign to change the law on claims against manufacturers.
Jade Jordan, 39, experienced debilitating symptoms after being fitted with the Essure birth control device in 2014.
She had extremely heavy periods that left her exhausted and sometimes caused her to faint.
Jade said: “The children were horrified witnessing it at first but eventually got so used to it, then would step over me on the floor.
“I would get weak to the point of being put on iron tablets, and several times I ended up in hospital needing transfusions.”
Essure is a flexible metal coil placed inside the fallopian tubes which causes scar tissue to form, leading to permanent sterilisation.
Jade, a military wife from Shropshire, asked her doctors repeatedly whether it could be causing her symptoms but claims she was dismissed.
She eventually decided to have a hysterectomy in August. Scans before the operation showed the device had become detached.
Jade said she felt “immediate relief” after the surgery. She added: “It was only then I realised just how poorly I had been. I had been constantly tired and drained, headaches, depression.”
Around 200 women have been given the green light by the High Court to proceed with a civil case against Essure’s manufacturer, German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. However, Jade missed out by days on being eligible to join the litigation.
Under the current UK Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1987, no action can be brought against a manufacturer if a device is defective “after the expiration of the period of ten years”. The clock starts ticking from the moment it leaves the factory.
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Jade spent weeks calling GP surgeries and hospitals to collect the necessary notes before contacting a solicitor, then discovered her device had been manufactured in July 2013.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea about the rule from manufacture to legal action. I thought I would be OK because my device had not been fitted more than ten years ago.”
Law firm Pogust Goodhead, which is fighting the women’s civil case, said it had turned down over 1,000 who were “out of time”.
A group of women have now launched Raise the Limit, calling for the time period to be extended to 20 years.
The campaign is led by Jan Faulkner, 51, who was dubbed “England’s Erin Brockovich” following her years-long battle for justice over Essure.
She was also unable to join the litigation. Jan said: “It can take years for a woman to find out why her body is reacting badly to something.
“It could take another decade just to gather the medical evidence and get doctors to properly test.
“By that time, you have lost your opportunity to take your case to court and get compensation for the damage it has done, not only to your body but to your life.”
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Campaigners are writing to their MPs, medical trade bodies, charities and health organisations asking for support.
Lisa Lunt, partner at Pogust Goodhead and head of medical product liability, said: “The Consumer Protection Act needs to be changed to remove the current 10 year longstop limitation which protects industry, not the trusting patient.
“Sadly, some pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies are selling medical products without proper testing, leaving women and men vulnerable.
“If they can’t take those companies to court, because the product was manufactured more than 10 years ago, they have no access to justice.
“It’s an absolute scandal and that’s why I support Jan’s campaign to extend the statute of limitations to 20 years.”
Bayer previously said the claims made in the case are “without merit” and the company “stands by the safety profile and efficacy of Essure”.
The firm said the device’s removal from the European market in 2017 was a commercial decision.