Three thousand two hundred and eighty two (3,282) Irish patients were fitted with defective DePuy ASR hip implants. Experts have found “unequivocal evidence” of high failure rates and are calling for metal-on-metal hip implants to be banned. The research, published in the world’s leading medical journal, The Lancet, was based on the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, which includes information on more than 400,000 hip replacements implanted between 2003 and 2011. This report follows the investigation by the British Medical Journal and BBC Newsnight two weeks ago outlining the need for metal on metal hip implant patients to have annual blood tests due to the issue of metal particles dislodging from the implant. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new guidance on the implants and as a result almost 50,000 patients in the UK will need annual blood or MRI checks.
The UK researchers found that metal-on-metal implants have the highest failure rate of all implants, with a five-year revision rate of 6.2%. By comparison ceramic-on-ceramic implants have a 2.3% failure rate and metal-on-plastic implants are the lowest at 1.7%. The findings published in The Lancet show metal-on-metal implants should not be on the market. The report is crucial to DePuy patients particularly now as the August deadline to initiate proceedings is fast approaching. The DePuy recall was announced in August 2010 and under the Statute of Limitations DePuy patients have two years from their date of knowledge to make a claim. Patients who received the DePuy hip implants need to take immediate legal advice to ensure that their cases are not out of time.
The experts who conducted the research for the National Joint Registry of England and Wales concluded: “Metal-on-metal stemmed articulations give poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.”
John M. Lynch has over 30 years’ experience in dealing with product liability and medical negligence cases. We represent a considerable number of clients who have been directly affected by the DePuy hip recall. We hosted an International DePuy Hip Implant Recall conference in March 2011 for DePuy patients and featured on Prime Time`s “out on a limb” programme in November 2011. We are working closely with Patient Focus to continue to research and highlight the DePuy issue on behalf of clients.