Wednesday, 22 of August of 2018

Warnings about dangers of all-metal hips have been around for a while

By Kevin Duffan, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

According to a new report UK regulators were aware of problems associated with the all-metal implants long before they were ever recalled.

According to a report by the news site Wales Online, problems with metal-on-metal hip implants have been around since at least 2007, which is when regulators in Australia first uncovered the issues associated with the devices. The first recall was announced in 2009 by the Australian government. A larger, worldwide recall was not issued until August of 2010, a delay which may have caused injury to countless patients who were not aware of the trouble they could be facing down the road.

A report on the Regulation of Medical Implants in the EU and UK by the Science and Technology Committee leveled serious criticisms against the British Ministry of Health for delaying action against the dangerous metal-on-metal devices. The report pointed out that many people knew of the damage all-metal implants could cause and yet the government failed to take action as early as other countries, a delay that caused citizens to suffer needlessly. The same issue could be raised against American regulators, given that the FDA allowed the device to continue to be sold and implanted in patients for years after the first concerns were raised about their effectiveness.

The DePuy ASR was finally recalled due to poor performance in a large number of patients. The problem with the implant is that as it is used, tiny pieces of metal fragments are released into a patient’s blood stream. These pieces of metal contain cobalt and chromium that are absorbed into the blood and nearby tissues. The damage this can do has not been fully understood, but reports indicate it can cause muscle, bone and even neurological damage.

Though the recall began with the DePuy device, studies indicate that the problem applies to an entire class of all-metal implant products. Earlier this year the FDA asked all manufacturers to conduct a study of their metal-on-metal products to assess their long-term safety. Experts have recommended that those with the devices already implanted should undergo annual physicals and imagining scans to detect any bone lose or tissue damage. Patients are also advised to screen for metal ions in their blood.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

About one million of these all-metal devices have been implanted in patients across the world over the past 15 years. This means that far too many patients are at possible risk of the dangerous effects of cobalt exposure.

The manufacturers that created these all-metal implants that have caused harm to patients should be held responsible for their actions. Some companies, such as DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet and Wright Medical Technology have already begun recalls to try and stop their products from causing further harm. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective products recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info: 

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Got Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding recalled products.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.