MHRA Issues Alert On Implants
A product liability lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has welcomed new guidance on metal-on-metal hip replacements but warned that it may lead to more worry and stress for patients fitted with the medical devices.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued an alert to the NHS stating that patients fitted with such hip implants now need annual checks across their lifetime to ensure the products are not causing them any harm.
There are concerns that those fitted with replacements with a head diameter of 36 millimetres of more could face problems related to tiny metal ions which are believed to break off and enter the bloodstream.
In addition, anyone found to have symptoms linked to damage will also need to be given annual MRI scans to check their blood ion levels.
Irwin Mitchell represents around 60 patients who have suffered pain and complications after being fitted with the De Puy ASR hip replacement device. The firm is also investigating a number of claims related to other implants.
Gary Walker, a product liability solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: "As the long term effects of the failure of these hip replacements are not fully understood, we are pleased to see the MHRA recommending that monitoring continues throughout the life of the implant and not just the first five years.
“However, this will no doubt cause further worry and stress to people who have received metal-on-metal devices and we hope that further research and work will be undertaken to provide more guidance and reassurance.
"A number of manufacturers make metal-on-metal hip replacements, and some are already facing legal action because of the problems these have caused.
"We are currently instructed by a large number of patients who have experienced significant difficulties with their DePuy ASR hip implant, as well as investigating claims on behalf of patients who received Zimmer Durom and Corin Cormet metal-on-metal implants."