Since DePuy issued a recall of its ASR hip replacement devices in August of this year, very few major news outlets have covered local, national or internation stories related to the nearly 100,000 patients who received the faulty hip implants. A Google News search of “DePuy Hip Replacement” yields about 4 pages of articles. Most of the articles are press releases and news reports by legal teams representing plaintiffs against DePuy. So, why are major news outlets avoiding this important news item?
There have been scattered reports about the hip replacement’s effects on the lives of patients who suffered through revision surgery after enduring the failure of the defective devices, such as a recent investigative report by a Fox News outlet in Minneapolis. The Fox article reported on former athlete Pat Ross. After having a DePuy hip replacement device implanted, Ross said, “I’d be bending over to tie a pair of skates and it felt like I had a red hot spear going into my rear end,” the article reported.
The article also covered the story of Laurie Mantueffel, whose hip replacement failed less than a year after she received it. She told Fox reporters, “My whole body had kind of swollen up, my arms, my hands, my feet, and real black and blue. I was extremely dizzy, just felt like I wanted to die. I had been bleeding internally and didn’t even know it.”
The Fox article points out what lawyers have been saying for years, that DePuy should have removed the device from the market immediately upon discovering the high rate of failure. Further, the company could have discovered the device defects by adequate testing before allowing the device to be implanted into almost 100,000 unwitting victims.
There are potentially hundreds to thousands of other individuals who suffered the same or similar pains and challenges with the faulty implants.
Fox News Staff Writer. (November 8, 2010) “Investigators: Junk Joints.” Retrieved on November 9, 2010 from Fox 9 News.
Kraft, Sy. (August 31, 2010) “Hip Replacement Recall By Depuy Orthopaedics Is Big News.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from Medical News Today.
Singer, Natasha. (August 26, 2010) “Johnson & Johnson Recalls Hip Implants.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from the New York Times.