Thousands of Britons who have undergone hip replacements are threatened with severe health problems after it was discovered that some patients had been fitted with potentially damaging metal on metal hip replacement devices.
According to data published in the National Joint Registry around 31,171 stemmed metal on metal hip replacements have been fitted in England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. These devices have additional risks in addition to the general risks of all other hip implant systems. They are prone to wear causing tiny metal particles to be released into the body and the blood stream.
People react differently to the particles. It is known that the metal ions can cause damage to bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant. This is something referred to as an adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD). This may cause the implant to become loose or cause pain.
Earlier this year, the British Hip Society advised that large head metal on metal hip devices should no longer be used.
In an article printed in the Daily Telegraph on the 24th October 2012 Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, conceded that there are problems with the regulatory systems for medical devices.
It was alleged in the article that the regulatory system was open to abuse which may put patients at risk. Jeremy Hunt said that he has urged the Medical Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) to bring forward plans to tighten the regulatory system.
Legal firm Gregory Abrams Davidson is currently handling around 120 clinical negligence cases involving the recalled ASR metal on metal hip devices . Amongst them is Susanna Derham, a mother-of-four from Horley in Surrey.
41-year-old Susanna began to experience symptoms of arthritis seven years ago, and underwent a total hip replacement in 2006 at East Surrey Hospital, where surgeons fitted her with a DePuy ASR metal hip device on her left side.
However, a few weeks after a recall was issued on the DePuy ASR devices, she started to feel acute pain in her hip, which gradually increased over time. Tests revealed severe tissue damage surrounding the hip, and high levels of cobalt and chromium in her blood, Susanna has since had corrective surgery on her hip, but the pain has forced her to give up her job, and the whole experience has had a “devastating” effect on her life, both physically and psychologically.
Mrs Derham told the Daily Telegraph: “I don’t know if I will ever totally recover from this. It’s worrying and you just don’t know what the future holds for you.”
Lisa Lunt, Head of Clinical Negligence at Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP, said: ”tighter regulation of medical devices is needed. It is incredible that devices that are surgically implanted into the body are so poorly regulated and monitored. We at Gregory Abrams Davidson are fully behind the plans and are part of a group of Socicitors set up to support better regulation”
Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP specialise in obtaining compensation for clients who have sustained injury as a result of Clinical Negligence. They have many years of experience dealing with claims against hospitals (both NHS and Private), dentists and general practitioners.
If you would like to enquire about a potential Clinical Negligence claim, contact a member of their Team on 0151 733 3353. Calls can be taken 24 hours a dayor visit their website at http://www.gadllp.co.uk/, and a member of the Clinical Negligence team will be able to advise you on whether you have a viable case for compensation.