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Hip Implant Failures Blamed on Debris

By John Bisnar on February 10, 2013 - No comments

Hip implant Failure - DepuyThe ongoing trial between one victim of a hip implant failure and Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy division has raised questions about the causes of problems with these devices.  Testimony has included expert witness statements about possible toxic metals given off by the devices and knowledge the company may have had knowledge about dangers posed by ASR hip replacement units.

Toxic Metal Levels High in Victims

A leading toxicologist testified on behalf of the plaintiff that DePuy had failed to note harmful effects of toxic debris in designing the all-metal hip implants, according to Bloomberg News.  The scientist noted that the patient exhibited a cobalt level in his bloodstream of almost eight times the level of seven micrograms per liter acceptable under California law.

The patient’s blood cobalt level was measured for three years after he received one of the 93,000 recalled hip implants.  However, the FDA refused to recall the devices on these grounds, claiming that there was not enough scientific data to show that the concentrations of toxic metals was producing the adverse symptoms experienced by patients.

Cobalt and chromium, two potentially poisonous metals, have been found in high concentrations in the blood of hip implant patients.  It is believed that the action of the hip implant may release toxic debris into the bloodstream, causing medical complications. 

DePuy Knew of Dangers

Other testimony alleged that DePuy knew that the ASR hip implants had defects besides the metal poisoning problem before it was launched on the U.S. market.  While it is clear that the high failure rate of the hip implants was brought to the company’s attention by the Food and Drug Administration and other complainants, it is less clear how much the company knew in advance.  However, testing of the product should have revealed the toxic debris issue long in advance of the company’s marketing strategy.

Hip Implant Victims Suffer Multiple Issues

Victims of the DePuy hip implants have been suffering from a variety of complaints.  In addition to the toxic metal problem, there have also been complaints about the failure of the device that had led to falls, broken bones, muscle damage from breakage, and the need for further surgeries to correct the complications.  Victims may have sustained damages from the hip implant itself or complications from further surgeries needed to replace the defective product, including post-operative infections and loss of mobility.

What Should I Do If I Am A Hip Implant Victim?

 If you have suffered adverse side effects from a hip replacement, it is very important that you seek legal advice immediately.  Class action lawsuits are forming against the manufacturers of these dangerous products, and the time to file a claim is limited.  By talking to a personal injury attorney about your case, you will protect your interests and may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, increased living costs and other expenses as well as sums to compensate you and your family for pain and suffering.


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