When a drug or a medical device gets recalled for malfunctioning or endangering the health and lives of patients, it can profoundly affect the lives of the individuals involved. That is certainly the case with the nearly 100,000 patients around the world who received the DePuy ASR hip replacement implants. DePuy issued a recall of their products in August 2010, leaving many patients still wondering what to do next.
Statistically, about 13% of the devices have or will fail within the first five years of having them implanted. Patients can normally expect hip replacements to last for about 15 years. The deeper issue with failed hip replacements is that the surgery to implant them requires drilling and/or scraping away parts of the hipbones to make room for the implants. When the devices prove faulty, as in the DePuy ASR hip replacement case, some patients may not have enough bone density to allow a new device to be implanted.
The heavy metals released into the bloodstream of patients whose hip implants’ metal parts were grinding together has contributed to degradation of the bones necessary to support new implants. These patients may be left with no option but to walk with a cane, a walker, or, in the worst cases, unable to walk at all, reports a Ring of Fire Radio interview with consumer advocate Ben Gordon.
Many lawsuits have been filed in response to the DePuy hip recall, including a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of all patients who received the implants. The lawsuit does represent only those patients who experienced problems with the implant, but is seeking to hold DePuy accountable for medical tests and procedures for patients.
Ring of Fire Radio. (October 13, 2010) “FDA Fails on DePuy Hip Replacement.” Retrieved on October 21, 2010 from Ring of Fire Radio.