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ABOUT PERISCOPE GROUP

We Are Advocates For The Injured

TOGETHER WE MUST PUSH FOR CHANGE

Welcome to Periscope Group. You’re here looking for answers and you’ve come to the right place.

Our purpose is simple: we provide support, education and if needed, we can connect you to legal counsel for those that have been injured by an unsafe drug or medical device. We’ve worked with too many patients over the past three decades whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of an unsafe drug or device. We’ve witnessed countless people who have experienced extreme pain and suffering, are unable to work, and have had to watch medical bills pile up while trying to get their lives back on track. It’s frightening and there are very few resources to turn to.

We know that as an individual, standing up to big pharmaceutical companies that gamble with people’s lives and livelihoods is scary; it seems like an impossible battle to win. However, when we join together, we have power. We have helped hundreds of thousands of consumers understand what caused their injuries and facilitated their path to financial settlement.

We believe that the situation our clients find themselves in is a symptom of a bigger problem – we lack proper checks and balances on the drugs and devices available for treatment. Because of this sad reality, we work with not only the injured and their families, but also advocacy groups and lobbyists to fight for patient rights and push for change. We passionately believe the solution to fixing this problem needs to be a collaborative effort among patients, their families, advocates, and legal counsel.

And let’s address “legal counsel” and the view that these types of cases are “frivolous”, “without merit”, and a “way for greedy lawyers to make a lot of money”.

Fact is that I have worked with lawyers for three decades, and like any industry, there are some really great lawyers that are in it for the right reasons – and some that are in it for the wrong reasons and should not be in this space. Welcome also to the Financial Sector, Politics, Journalism and the list goes on. Unfortunately it’s not just the legal space.

But without the qualified lawyers that specialize in defective drugs and products that help consumers, there would be no one fighting for them at all. So even if the lawyers get a fee at the end, they don’t get paid unless they get a successful settlement of verdict for you, which is why these cases are contingency based only.

And while lawyers may not always win a popularity contest, they also aren’t killing anyone for profit either. So at the end of the day, drug and defective device companies are running amok on our health for profit, even if it means disabling and killing countless consumers a year, because money is apparently more important than safety or our health.

Please focus on THAT being the problem – not the lawyers.

There is nothing wrong with making money. Being profitable is a good thing, but when it is more important than people’s lives and their families, make no mistake, THAT is the problem – AND there is nothing frivolous about a family’s or individuals pain and suffering when it does hit close to home.

I have seen both sides of this for 30 years and as frustrating as the system can be, the worst part is we live in these United States and there are health crimes happening every day in this country. It appears that the biggest white-collar pushers of drugs are our own publicly traded companies and seem to be beyond the law. There is no deterrent for them like jail time, or having their golden parachutes taken away, nor do their boards of directors seem to be stepping in, as they should. It’s a “trickle down” systematic problem.

So no matter how you feel about lawyers, when they are on your side and you need them, they are an essential part of the legal ecosystem and we have been lucky enough to cultivate a group of really great ones that are in this for the right reasons, financial model or not.

The pain is real. The loss of income, job, health care, love and living is real. So lets all focus on the end game here.

You know the old saying, “Don’t hate the players, hate the game”.  We all hate the game and that consumers are so exposed, but it takes so much money, time and resources for people to fight back at a time when people are sick and need help. Consumers are not road kill but we’re being treated as such. That is the problem right now and we CAN’T address health care in this country until we address the FDA, how drugs are put on the market, vetted and mass marketed as well as why there are no consequences except monetary settlements which the drug companies control and dole out as they please.

We must all ask for help when we need to and shouldn’t be penalized by our doctors, employers, or drug and device companies when that time comes.

That’s why Together we must push for change before things like Opioid Addiction, Bad Products like the Transvaginal Mesh which was put in millions of women, and SO many other areas we talk about on this site before even more people are harmed.

We must demand better warnings and drug and device updates that clearly and thoroughly protect the consumer. We must ensure rigorous drug and device testing. Most of all, we must advocate for meaningful settlements so that these companies know we mean business. The legal system, FDA and pharmaceutical companies have created a complex maze that is almost impossible for the consumer to navigate… but our team of experts has the knowledge, compassion and determination to partner with you on this journey.

If you need help, you just don’t know how to begin, or have basic questions, please email us at info@periscopegroup.com or call us at toll free 800-511-3838. I look forward to hearing from you.


Jennifer Banmiller

Founder

Periscope Group is an organization dedicated to helping people facing injustice due to drug complications or device failures. We are here to advocate for you, provide the resources to educate you, and get you to the finish line.

Our mission is to provide timely information, resources, and introductions to compassionate, reputable legal counsel when people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. As we connect with new clients in tough times, our aim is to hear their stories, offer support, and advocate for their rights. Armed with a wealth of legal and product knowledge, we are extremely well prepared to help people stand up to corporate wrongdoings that have impacted their health and way of life. As long as we’re around, big pharmaceutical companies cannot silence the injured.

Offering information, resources, advocacy, and a connection to compassionate legal counsel

Information and Resources
We help you further understand your injuries and how to get healthy.

Access to Legal Counsel
We help you gain unique access to a network of trusted legal representatives that will work with you to gain financial settlement for your losses when possible.

Advocacy
Periscope Group has worked for over 20 years in health advocacy. We stay abreast of the latest medical complications to inform the public of wrongdoing and petition congressional representatives for scalable change.

Helping patients connect the dots and cross the finish line

 

This industry is a maze. It can be hard to connect the dots between the product you used, your injuries, and the right next steps. We offer a step-by-step understanding of this process online and with our advocates by phone.

[Periscope Group] helped me so much with what I was going through. [They] helped me get more treatment for my injuries and are helping me to get my medical bills and treatments covered by the manufacturers in the settlement.

Amy C
Utica, NY

Contact us

Free Guide Download

The Step-By-Step Guide To Taking Action

How to File for Financial Settlement After Injury from an Unsafe Drug or Device

Free Guide Download

The Step-By-Step Guide To Taking Action

How to File for Financial Settlement After Injury from an Unsafe Drug or Device

LATEST ARTICLES

The Link Between Medical Implants and Autoimmune Diseases

Fatigue. Brain fog. Fibromyalgia. Most people don’t associate these symptoms with having a medical device, but doctors and researchers have been finding a very strong link between the two. From patients who have breast implants to those with surgical mesh or knee replacements, countless people are struggling to battle autoimmune diseases resulting from their implants and yet have no idea why they’re feeling so sick.

The Link Between Medical Implants and Autoimmune Diseases

Types of Autoimmune Diseases

An autoimmune disease is when the body attacks and damages its own tissues. An autoimmune disease can be associated with materials used in medical implants, devices, and adjuvants (substances added to vaccines such as aluminum and mercury). Here are just a few of the common types of autoimmune diseases that have been linked to medical implants:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – This condition can also be called systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Loss of memory or concentration, unexplained muscle or joint pain, headaches, and unrefreshing sleep are characteristics of CFS.
  • Fibromyalgia – Pain, stiffness, tenderness, and soreness in the muscles at “trigger points”.
  • Multiple sclerosis – A disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – An inflammatory condition that results in warm, swollen, and painful joints
  • Systemic lupus – The body’s immune system starts to attack healthy tissue and may cause  painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, hair loss, and more.
  • Crohn’s Disease – This inflammatory bowel disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. Signs and symptoms often include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss.

Types of Medical Implant Materials

Depending on the injury or treatment needed, there are many different types of materials used.

Biologic

Biologic material is derived from living tissue, which can include intestines or skin that has been processed and disinfected for use as an implant device (for example, pig skin has been used instead of plastic mesh to reinforce hernias). The tissue is sourced from pigs, cows, sheep or humans. The most important specification for a biological material is that it’s biocompatible which means that it’s able to integrate into a host without causing an immune reaction. The pros are that they are more compatible with your body. The cons include that they can break down and degenerate.

Let’s say you had breast cancer and you wish to reconstruct your breast using your own tissue. A surgeon would take tissue from your stomach, thighs or buttocks to rebuild your breast instead of using saline or silicone which have been linked to cancers and other health conditions.

Synthetic

Obviously “synthetic” is something that doesn’t occur naturally and synthetic devices can include plastics, ceramics, porcelain, and other man-made materials. These are commonly used for dental implants, sutures, hernias, and more. Ceramics are even being used in joint replacements to “reinforce it and provide improvements to the bicompatibility, joint wear and mechanical properties,” explains researcher Ana Maria Arizmendi Morquecho. The pros are that synthetic materials can be cheaper, more readily accessible, and last longer than biologics. The cons are that they can cause autoimmune disorders in the body and many times the products aren’t fully tested before being put on the market. Transvaginal mesh (TVM) is one example that left countless women worldwide with multiple health complications that cannot be resolved. TVM is made out of a plastic called polypropylene that can erode in the body, migrate, and the sharp edges can sever tissues and organs.

Metal

Metals are commonly used in implants and titanium and metal alloys are often found in hip replacements and other similar implants. These products are many times used in combination with synthetic materials to mimic bone and tissue function. While they are long lasting, many people experience autoimmune disorders since the immune system may fight a foreign object in the body. Essure was a popular permanent birth control device that was designed to be implanted in the fallopian tubes. It was made out of 55% nickel. The problem is that 20% of women are allergic to nickel and had serious reactions due to this device.

How the Body May Respond to an Implant

Medical implants can be made from a variety of materials depending on the injury or issue it is supposed to address. However, each person can react differently to each material. Here are some recent studies linking autoimmune diseases with common medical implants:

Breast Implants

In January 2019, a study was published in Clinical Rheumatology that stated that silicone may trigger immune responses that increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia and CFS. “Researchers studied 30 female patients, 47.9 years old on average, treated between 2000 and 2017, who received silicone breast implants before being diagnosed with a rheumatological condition,” explained Fibromyalgia News Today. “Overall, six patients were diagnosed with fibromyalgia, three with chronic fatigue syndrome, and 12 with depression; the remaining patients were diagnosed with other conditions, such as Sjögren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.”

Transvaginal Mesh (TVM)

Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert, director of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Alberta, noticed that many of his patients were experiencing the same health problems after having vaginal mesh surgery. “In my practice, I studied 40 patients who had mesh implants and found that almost all of them had symptoms such as chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment known as ‘brain fog, muscle and joint pain ‘fibromyalgia, feverish temperature, and dry eyes and dry mouth,” Tervaert said. “Of those patients, 45% developed an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. And in the patients who had allergies before the implant, they were significantly worse after.”

Essure

Essure was introduced to the market in 2002 and was supposed to be a permanent, drug free birth control device for women. This coil-like implant was placed in the fallopian tubes so that eggs cannot descend from the ovaries into the uterus to be fertilized. However, Essure is made out of 55% nickel and 20% of women are allergic to this metal. According to the FDA, “From 2002 through 2017, the most frequently-reported patient problems were pain/abdominal pain (21,215), heavier menses/menstrual irregularities (9,846), headache (7,231), fatigue (5,842), and weight fluctuations (4,970). Most of the reports received listed multiple patient problems in each report. The most frequent device problems reported were patient-device incompatibility example, possible nickel allergy (4,481), migration of the device or device component (2,936), dislodged or dislocated device (1,356), device breakage (1,044), device operating differently than expected (947), device difficult to remove (331), device difficult to insert (317), and malposition of the device (279).”

What You Need to Know About Medical Implants

One of the biggest problems with medical implants is that patients don’t know that they’re linked to autoimmune disorders. After all, how can a hip replacement cause brain fog? However, there IS a strong connection between the two and patients need to know the symptoms to look for to determine if they’re having a negative reaction to their medical device. While the implant or device may not always be able to removed or replaced, having some answers may help you to address the symptoms more effectively.

 

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Sources
“Mesh devices may be to blame for autoimmune symptoms” Medical Plastics News. Accessed March 1, 2019. https://www.medicalplasticsnews.com/news/medical-devices/mesh-devices-may-be-to-blame-for-autoimmune-symptoms/?fbclid=IwAR2fl6djkplrWEM3YqrzkHf2_Ob0vy2mqHoViraEh71P5jXNMLoByx2SoqU
“Chronic fatigue syndrome”. Mayo Clinic. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490
“Silicone Breast Implants Tied to Fibromyalgia, But More Evidence Needed, Study Says”. Fibromyalgia News Today. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2019/02/13/silicone-breast-implants-fibromyalgia-more-evidence-needed/
“FDA Activities: Essure”. FDA. Accessed March 11, 2019. https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/EssurePermanentBirthControl/ucm452254.htm#s5
“Biological Materials Information”. Engineering 360. Accessed March 13, 2019. https://www.globalspec.com/learnmore/specialized_industrial_products/pharmaceutical_biotechnology/biotechnology/biological_materials
“Scientist look for nanostructures that allow compatibility between metal, human bone tissues”. Nanowerk. Accessed March 14, 2019. https://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=38577.php

Do You Have an IVC Filter? Here’s What’s Happening in the News

This month IVC (interior vena cava) filters have been in the news quite a bit lately as lawsuits are settling and more claims are being filed. If you or a loved one has an IVC filter, here are the important updates that you should know about this controversial medical device.

Do You Have an IVC Filter? Here's What's Happening in the News

The Problems Linked to IVC Filters

For those who are at risk for blood clots and are unable to take blood thinners, IVC filters are placed in a large vein called the interior vena cava. The filter is made up of several metal prongs that connect at one end (almost like the frame of a closed umbrella). The hope is that the device will catch any blood clots and prevent them from traveling to the heart or lungs where it could cause extensive damage or even death.

The problem with the filter is that reports have been made to the FDA stating that the device can move causing it to puncture the interior vena cava. This device may also have prongs break off causing the pieces to migrate to other parts of the body creating excruciating pain and putting patient health at risk.

Lawsuit Finds in Favor of Patient with IVC Filter

Just last month an Indiana woman went to trial and won her case against IVC filter manufacturer Cook Medical. 53-year-old Tonya Brand of Snellville, Georgia, had an IVC filter surgery in 2009 and in 2011, a prong from her filter had migrated and pushed through the vein and the skin of her thigh. Other parts had also broken off and migrated throughout her body but are unfortunately unable to be removed. After deliberating for 11 hours, the jury decided that Brand should receive $3 million to help pay for the financial hardships that her injuries have caused.

This is a landmark verdict for patients who have had similar problems with their IVC filters; this is the first case where it was decided that this kind of device has a defective design. This is also the highest monetary compensation that has been awarded for this type of case (a Texas state court jury awarded $1.2 million against Cook Medical in a failure to warn case in 2018).

Upcoming Case to Watch

The newest and most notable lawsuit concerning IVC filter injuries was filed on February 26, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. This case is said to involve a woman from Missouri who was injured by the G2® Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) manufactured by C.R. Bard and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. The crux of this case is based on the issue that C.R. Bard sold a defective medical device and failed to warn about safety risks. Currently, there are 6,300 actions pending in this case. This means that instead of taking each filed lawsuit to trial, the verdict of this case will help to determine the outcome and compensation of the thousands of similar cases brought against C.R. Bard.

Should You File a Claim?

There are now over 9,000 IVC filter lawsuits pending against IVC filter manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Cook Medical, Cordis Corporation, Rex Medical, C.R. Bard, B. Braun and more. Clearly, hundreds of thousands of people had their lives put in jeopardy and thousands suffered from the terrifying effects of their broken filters. Profits were put before people and if you were injured, you should consider filing a claim to receive financial compensation due to high medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary hardships that you had to endure.

If you had an IVC filter placed in your body between 2005 – 2017 and had it break or migrate, call Periscope Group today at (800) 511-3838. We want to hear your story.

 

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Sources
“Indiana Jury Awards $3M in IVC Filter Lawsuit”. Legal Scoops. Accessed March 13, 2019. https://www.legalscoops.com/indiana-jury-awards-3m-in-ivc-filter-lawsuit/
“Indiana Jury Awards $3M in Cook IVC Filter Bellwether Trial”. Yahoo! Finance.  Accessed March 13, 2019. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/indiana-jury-awards-3m-cook-040408228.html

 

Study Finds 45% of Mesh Implant Patients Develop Autoimmune Disorders

Surgical mesh is often used in hernia repairs and in American women for stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse (it’s illegal in other countries to treat gynecological issues). These medical devices have been linked to complications due to mesh erosion which can cause migration, organ perforation, bleeding, and other serious issues. A new study was recently published that also linked surgical mesh to a high rate of autoimmune disorders. If you have surgical mesh or are considering a procedure that uses a medical device implant, here is the information that you need to know.

Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert, director of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Alberta, closely monitored his patients and came to a shocking conclusion, “In my practice, I studied 40 patients who had mesh implants and found that almost all of them had symptoms such as chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment known as ‘brain fog,’ muscle and joint pain ‘fibromyalgia,’ feverish temperature, and dry eyes and dry mouth,” stated Dr. Cohen Tervaert. “Of those patients, 45 per cent developed an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. And in the patients who had allergies before the implant, they were significantly worse after.”

The Problem with Medical Device Implants

Unfortunately, complications can arise when any foreign object is inserted into the body. Similar symptoms have been frequently reported in patients who have silicone breast implants. “When a foreign body is put into the body, there is an instant activation of the immune system. It continues to fight the foreign body and eventually, over time, fatigues and becomes dysfunctional,” Dr. Cohen Tervaert explains. “Large-scale studies have shown that patients with breast implants have more symptoms of ASIA (autoimmune/auto-inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants) and an increased risk to develop an autoimmune disorder.

Doctors have determined that patients are genetically determined whether or not they’ll have an adverse autoimmune reaction to their medical device. Dr. Cohen Tervaert found that pre-existing allergies were present in 80% of breast implant patients which just so happened to be the same percentage of patients who had allergies in his patient group involving mesh. While it seems like an obvious answer is to have patients genetically tested for allergies before having a medical device implanted, unfortunately a test like this does not yet exist.

Many patients recovered after having the medical device removed in situations involving breast implants, but this type of surgery is more complicated with surgical mesh. Tissue and nerves can grow in and around the mesh making it virtually impossible to take out the entire device for countless patients.

Discussing your concerns with your doctor and carefully weighing the risks versus the benefits are two ways to protect your health. Also, familiarize yourself with the symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders. The sooner you call your doctor to address these issues, the better chance you have at recovery.

 

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Sources
“Surgical mesh implants may cause autoimmune disorders”. Medical Xpress. Accessed December 20, 2018. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-surgical-mesh-implants-autoimmune-disorders.html?fbclid=IwAR0cIcQsQyMQBaTwBCdv5q-kExUEkzteXXX9q9cDVby4VyOTHgcvbgF3qH8

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

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