Without Follow-up, Some Patients At Risk Of Severe Disability
Metal on metal hip replacement patients are slipping through the net when it comes to aftercare, leading product liability experts have warned.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say they have seen a rise in patients who have suffered avoidable injury as a result of not being invited for follow-up appointments to check on their metal on metal hip replacement. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidelines require patients to be regularly followed up by an orthopaedic surgeon.
Catherine Slattery, an expert product liability lawyer, says follow-up appointments are essential to pick up on any reaction the patient might be having which could lead to serious injury.
Expert Opinion“Metal on metal implants were once widely given to patients requiring a new hip joint, but many of these devices have been shown to fail much earlier than expected and they may cause injury due to metal particles released as the implants wear over time. This can have serious consequences, including the need for additional surgery in some cases, so quality after care and follow-up is vital.
“We have seen an increase in patients contacting us recently who have suffered significant damage brought about by an unmonitored metal on metal hip replacement. With regular follow-ups and monitoring, action could have been taken quickly and efficiently to avoid such serious complications. Now it is too late and they are looking to us to help secure settlements to fund rehabilitation and support for the resulting disability.” Catherine Slattery - Solicitor
Just last month, the MHRA issued updated guidance for healthcare professionals who manage patients implanted with metal on metal hip replacements.
The guidance, an update to previous advice provided in 2012, calls for clinicians to ensure appropriate follow up to monitor the potential for the well-known risks of soft-tissue reactions.
One key update recommends ensuring longer term follow ups are undertaken for all patients with metal on metal implants.