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Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements Banned in UK

Posted on in Defective Medical Devices

The metal-on-metal hip replacements that have caused such a catastrophe for so many U.S. patients have been banned in the U.K., according to the Daily Telegraph. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are always risks associated with hip replacements, and metal on metal (MoM) hip replacements carry additional risks unique to MoM hip implants. “In MoM hip implants,” states the FDA, “the metal ball and the metal cup slide against each other during walking or running. Metal can also be released form other parts of the implant where the two implant components connect.” The release of the metal, states the FDA, will eventually cause some small particles to rub off the implant and can cause the implant to slip. There's also the risk that “some of the metal ions (e.g. cobalt and chromium) from the metal implant or from the metal particles will enter the bloodstream,” according to the FDA.

It wasn't until late October of this year, after “a study found unacceptably high failure rates among implants in 17,000 patients,” Daily Telegraph, that the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom decided to ban NHS hospitals from using MoM hip replacements. Two models were immediately taken off the market, “and thousands of patients fitted with the implants have been told to have annual checks, often including blood tests,” reports the Telegraph. The blood tests are meant to measure whether or not toxic levels of metal had leaked into the bloodstream of patients fitted with the MoM replacement.

The warning in England didn't come until the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence found that the MoM devices were failing in as many as 43 percent of patients. “One device,” according to the Telegraph, “the DePuy ASR, which was withdrawn when manufacturers admitted to failure rates of 13 percent within five years, required revision surgery in almost a quarter of cases within that period.”

If you or someone you know has been fitted with a defective medical device—especially if it's a MoM hip replacement that has since been banned in the UK—you may eligible for compensation. Don't go through it alone. Seek the counsel of an experienced Chicago-area defective medical device attorney today.

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