DePuy ASR Hip Recall Effects Ripple Worldwide; Questions Remain Unanswered
Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports on calls for an investigation into the manner in which the DePuy ASR hip recall was handled by the Health Services Executive (“HSE”), the Irish equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.* On November 16, 2011, Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne, a deputy in the Irish parliament and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, requested that representatives from the HSE appear before the Health Committee to answer questions on the DePuy ASR artificial hip recall. Deputy Byrne’s request for an inquiry was prompted by outstanding questions regarding the propriety of the HSE’s handling of the DePuy ASR hip recall. Specifically, Deputy Byrne is seeking answers as to why the HSE took no action to recall the ASR hip devices, even after it had received reports from the United States and Australia, indicating that the DePuy ASR hip replacements were defective. Moreover, at the time DePuy issued its worldwide ASR hip recall in August 2010, UK authorities had already instituted a patient-follow-up system for individuals who had received the recalled ASR devices; however Irish health officials had failed to develop a similar system.
The DePuy ASR Recall In Ireland
According to irishhealth.com, an estimated 3,200 people in Ireland received the defective DePuy ASR hip implants. Of those, 192 patients have already undergone revision surgery, while 96 others are scheduled to have their defective ASR hip implants removed. Additionally, 700 patients are having blood work done in order to monitor the amount of metal ions in their bloodstream. Although the DePuy ASR recall was initiated after data revealed excessively high failure rates of 12-13 percent, Deputy Byrne believes that the failure rates are significantly higher, stating that “European research . . . suggests that up to half the DePuy faulty hip replacements implanted in Ireland since 2003 may need to be replaced within the next six years.” In addition to questioning why the HSE failed to act in a timely manner after being alerted about problems with the ASR hips, Deputy Byrne is also seeking answers as to why the HSE failed to introduce a screening program to address neurological injuries caused by metallosis and cobaltism in patients who received the metal-on-metal hip implants.
Since Johnson & Johnson issued its worldwide ASR hip recall in August 2010, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has provided a wealth of consumer information concerning both the Pinnacle and ASR hip systems on its website, www.consumerinjurylawyers.com. If you or a loved one received a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle implant during hip surgery and have experienced hip replacement pain or had to undergo revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other injuries.
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