Many readers of our Illinois personal injury lawyer blog are well appraised of the DePuy hip recall that was issued last August in response to growing evidence that the metal-on-metal devices were a danger to patients who had received them. Recently, national regulators have begun questioning the safety of all similar hip implants, including those not manufactured by DePuy. Specifically, according to an NPR story, last month the United States Food and Drug Administration asked at least twenty manufacturers to conduct more throughout analysis of the safety of their metal-on-metal hip implants. The FDA is specifically asking these companies to report more detailed information on how long the hips last and the side-effects that some patients are experiencing.
The instigation for this new call was likely the growing list of complaints that the body has received from patients of all stripes who have suffered complications following their hip replacement surgery.
While metal-on-metal implants have made headlines for their potential problems over the past year, hip implants come in a variety of forms. Many other versions use ceramics, plastics, and metal in various ways to help replace the ball and socket of a hip. The metal-on-metal devices have posed particular problems because of wear on the metal in the rubbing between the two parts of the device. The main issue is the increasing risk that the device will let loose small metal particles into the patient’s body-including the surrounding tissue and bloodstream. Various complications exist when that happens. The metal particles could cause infection, necrosis, and allergic problems. In the worst cases, enough metal is released to affect a patient’s heart and neurological system.
All those who have had hip replacements should be aware of warning signs. Medical professionals urge these individuals to pay attention to numbing or swelling around the area of the implant. If changes are noticed it is important to visit with a doctor to ensure that no long term complications develop.
Our Chicago DePuy hip implant attorneys at Levin & Perconti respect the need for all medical devices to be properly designed to ensure their safe use. Patients have the reasonable expectation that a manufacturing company will not put forward a problematic product that poses unacceptable risks of complications. This is especially true when hundreds of thousands of lives across the country hang in the balance.
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