Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure with 250,000 surgeries occurring annually in the United States.However, among that large number, only about 1-3 percent of recipients require corrective surgeries. This small population should be manageable for regulators to quickly identify and track defective hip replacements. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have a national artificial joint registration system. Without a registration system in place, in addition to the lag in time it takes for a hip replacement to malfunction, companies like DePuy were able to sell 93,000 hip replacements worldwide undetected. DePuy was able to sell 93,000 hip replacements undetected worldwide due to the fact that there is no regulatory system in place and it takes a long time for hip implants to malfunction. This ultimately resulted in the DePuy ASR hip replacement recall affecting thousands of patients today.
Two countries that do have artificial joint registries implemented, Australia and the United Kingdom, were able to quickly and efficiently detect the defective hip implants. As early as 2007, the National Joint Replacement Registry in Australia reported higher than normal failure rates of the DePuy hip replacements. By 2009, DePuy voluntarily withdrew its products from the market. In a similar situation, the National Joint Registry of England and Wales was also prompt in discovering defective hip replacements. Published studies by researchers at Oxford University presented statistically that 3.4 percent of patients out of 660 who received DePuy metal-on-metal hip implants suffered from signs and symptoms of metallosis. These studies also showed that 155 patients who received another company’s metal hip implants did not experience any similar side effects.
At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received several hundred complaints about the metal-on-metal device, but without a national registry to regulate these defective implants, no action was taken.Testimonies from numerous surgeons have come to light, stating that they had alerted DePuy early on about the complications caused by their hip replacements, but received little to no response. Finally in 2010, the media began creating public awareness as to the dangers of DePuy’s defective hip replacements. With increasing pressure from the public and the FDA, DePuy finally initiated a recall in August of 2010.
It is obvious that DePuy was aware of its defective products, but did nothing. It is apparently clear that the company disregarded the health and safety of the consumer in order to avoid having more defective products undergo a public recall. Patients who think they deserve proper compensation for the defective hip replacements they received should contact an attorney handling these cases immediately.Details regarding ongoing litigation can be found on the DePuy hip replacement recall website.
Tags: Health and Fitness