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Research Raises Concerns Regarding Hip Replacement Bone Cement

More Than 60 People Injured Following Toxic Reaction, Study Suggests


New research carried out by Imperial College London has claimed that more than 60 people have died or been injured as a result of a toxic reaction to bone cement used in major hip replacement surgery.

The study, led by former chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson, found that 41 people died and 14 others suffered heart attacks when administered with the product.

According to The Daily Telegraph, initial concerns regarding the cement were raised in 2009 by the now-defunct National Patient Safety Agency, which highlighted concerns of so-called Bone Cement Implementation Syndrome.

However, the cement continues to be used in procedures and Sir Liam suggested that the surgery community had decided that “the benefits… outweigh the risks”.

NHS England stated it was working with patient groups and other bodies to review and address concerns regarding the use of guidelines on the matter.

Expert Opinion
Barely a week appears to go by at present without concerns being raised about a medical device or product, whether it is metal-on-metal hip implants, cosmetic surgery products or contaminated hospital feed.

“Now, concerns have been raised regarding the bone cement used in hip operations – another example of the lack of understanding by the public of the approach used to review and determine the safety of many medical devices and products.

"These concerns impact on the confidence that patients have in the medical devices which are used as part of their treatment. In turn, this impacts on the confidence that patients have on the clinicians, who depend on the medical products they are given to work with and who have to rely on the reassurances and advice of manufacturers to be able to give the best explanation of risk and benefit to those under their care.

"Consumers need that reassurance; the NHS and medical regulators need to ensure that in the explanations given by manufacturers about the risks and benefits of medical products, that both clinicians using the products and patients being treated with them have a clear understanding of the risks being run when those products are used."
Kevin Timms, Solicitor

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