Concerns over the now-recalled DePuy ASR metal hips continue to spread worldwide, with patients in both Denmark and the Czech Republic reporting side effects caused by these devices. The news follows reports that health officials in the United Kingdom have launched an investigation of the hip implants after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was advised that the devices may be causing systemic toxicity in some patients.
In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics issued a voluntary recall of its all-metal ASR hip implant systems after data furnished by the UK National Joint Registry indicated that the devices were failing prematurely at a significant rate. The recall involved an estimated 90,000 hip implants worldwide.
Following the recall, a number of patients in the U.S. filed lawsuits against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the recalled hips were causing serious complications. Side effects linked to the DePuy hips include pain, swelling, inflammation, loss of mobility and metallosis. The metallosis or metal poisoning is believed to be caused by small pieces of metal being shed into the joint’s surrounding tissue as the artificial hip’s metal components rub together.
According to a February 6th article in the Prague Daily Monitor, an estimated 300 Czech patients received a DePuy hip. The report added that some of the patients have experienced health complications believed to be caused by the all-metal hips, although specific cases were not mentioned. Health insurance companies are reportedly asking patients to seek follow-up care, including blood testing, to determine what complications the implants may be causing.
In January, the Copenhagen Post reported that an estimated 600 Danish patients were also affected by the DePuy ASR hip recall. That report claimed that as many as half of the 600 hip implant recipients were unaware that the devices had been recalled. Seven of the affected patients have reportedly undergone revision surgery to remove the metal hips.
Patients who received a DePuy ASR hip need to be aware of the symptoms that may indicate a problem with their device. Consult your physician if you have experienced any of the following:
- Pain or swelling in the hip or groin area
- Decreased mobility
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Feeling of fatigue
- Weight gain or loss
- Frequent infections
- Feelings of numbness, tingling, paralysis
Individuals who believe they were injured by a defective metal hip implant may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Contacting an experienced DePuy hip injury attorney is the first step in safeguarding your legal rights.