Compensation for Faulty Hip Replacements
Compensation claims for faulty hip replacements have been covered in the media extensively in recent months following news of faulty metal on metal hip replacements, the recall of the DePuy ASR hip replacement systems and how they can be a danger to the health. Although DePuy — and manufacturers of previously withdrawn medical devices — have acknowledged their liability for injuries attributable to their faulty hip replacements, the offer of compensation which has been presented to patients implanted with their defective products is unacceptable to most people and, for this reason, solicitors are advising that individual compensation claims for faulty hip replacements are filed.
Faulty Metal on Metal Hip Replacements
The problem which has been identified — especially with faulty metal on metal hip replacements — is that metal ions of cobalt and chromium are entering the bloodstream due to friction between the head of the implant and the cup into which it is situated. These metal ions often congregate around the faulty hip replacements, weakening the hip bone and surrounding tissues and causing the hip replacement system to “fail”.
When elevated levels of metal ions travel away from the hip implant through the blood stream, there is a risk of metal poisoning and serious organ damage from the faulty hip replacements. Reports have linked high levels of cobalt and chromium to cardiovascular and neurological injuries, while claims that ions from faulty hip replacements are responsible for bladder cancer are yet to be confirmed.
Physicians in the United States have discovered abnormal levels of chromium in the placental blood of women implanted with faulty metal on metal hip replacements who have subsequently given birth, and tumours have been diagnosed in patients from many different locations around the world which are attributable to ions released from faulty hip replacements.
Common Metal Poisoning Symptoms
Inasmuch as the symptoms described above are more extreme symptoms of metal poisoning, many people implanted with faulty hip replacements will still have to undergo painful and complicated revision surgery for common metal poisoning symptoms. Each of the conditions listed below could be symptoms of metal poisoning with is attributable to faulty metal on metal hip replacements and, if you believe you may be suffering any of the following metal poisoning symptoms or conditions, it is vital that you seek medical attention immediately.
- Pain and inflammation in the hip and groin
- Swelling and fluid retention in the hip and groin
- Difficulty walking and lower body pain
- Tumours in any region of the body
- Hearing or vision problems
- Memory loss
- Leg pain
- Back pain
If you are diagnosed with a health issue which is directly attributable to faulty hip replacements, and which means you will have to undergo revision surgery, you should speak with a solicitor about making a claim for faulty hip replacement compensation.
DePuy Faulty Hip Replacements
DePuy ASR faulty hip replacements were used in Ireland between 2003 and 2010. The DePuy ASR hip replacement was one of the most common choices in hip replacement operations throughout Ireland during this time, and 3,516 patients were implanted with the devices. Even though the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Irish Medicines Board (IMB) were aware of the “higher than expected” failure rate, they continued to advocate the use of DePuy faulty hip replacements for many years — causing unnecessary pain and suffering for those who now have to undergo revision surgery.
DePuy Hip Recall in Ireland
A DePuy hip recall in Ireland was eventually ordered — but by DePuy Orthopaedics, rather than those responsible for the nation´s health — and a system was established whereby recipients of the DePuy faulty hip replacements could have blood tests and x-rays on their medical devices to see if their hip replacement systems were in the process of failing. Many patients in Ireland also underwent MRI scans to assess the damage caused by metal poisoning when high levels of system toxicity were identified.
Compensation for the DePuy Faulty Hip Replacements
An offer of compensation for the DePuy faulty hip replacements was made by the company which included the costs of blood testing, x-rays and revision surgery when necessary, travel and accommodation expenses for people who had to travel long distances to have tests or surgery, and the replacement of lost income while patients were undergoing their tests or revision surgery on their DePuy faulty hip replacements.
No mention was made of compensation for the DePuy faulty hip replacements in terms of the pain and suffering experienced before, during and after revision surgery, the lost income and loss of amenity during these periods or the emotional trauma of those who believed that their hip replacement system had given them a new lease of life — only to discover that they were being systematically poisoned.
As the offer of compensation for DePuy faulty hip replacements also came with the condition that patients had to surrender their explanted hip replacement system and relinquish their rights to further compensation against the company — even though the removal of the faulty hip replacements was no guarantee that the symptoms of metal poisoning would disappear — only the HSE encouraged patients to accept the offer, while solicitors in Ireland started to receive requests for information from victims seeking compensation for the DePuy faulty hip replacements.
How to Make Compensation Claims for Faulty Hip Replacements
It is not only the recipients of DePuy faulty hip replacements who are entitled to compensation. Anybody who sustains an injury due to faulty metal on metal hip replacements should be entitled to compensation. The DePuy hip recall in Ireland was one of a long list of hip replacement systems which included manufacturers such as Zimmer, Wright Medical and Smith & Nephew, and the best advice for anybody wanting to make compensation claims for faulty hip replacements is to contact a solicitor as soon as possible.
The process for making compensation claims for faulty hip replacements is to contact the manufacturer or their agents through a solicitor. In the case of claims for DePuy faulty hip replacements, the company has engaged the services of a loss adjuster in Dublin to handle compensation claims for DePuy faulty hip replacements. A solicitor will register your claim with the loss adjuster, help you complete the medical mandate form to ensure that you are not signing away your rights, and make a claim for faulty hip replacements compensation under the Consumer protection Act 2007.
Please note that under the Consumer protection Act 2007, claimants have only two years from the “date of knowledge” they had sustained an injury attributable to faulty hip replacements in which to make a claim for faulty hip replacements compensation. This date of knowledge is the date on which an injury was diagnosed, rather that the date on which revision surgery was performed so, it is essential that claimants speak with a personal injury solicitor at the first possible opportunity.
Free Legal Advice on Faulty Hip Replacements
If you have received a DePuy faulty hip replacement, or other metal on metal hip replacement, it is important that you visit a doctor for a blood test and to check the integrity of the hip replacement system. If you are diagnosed with an injury that requires revision surgery, or have already undergone revision surgery, you should speak with a solicitor on our freephone legal helpline about making a claim for faulty hip replacements compensation.
Depending on the make and model of your faulty hip replacements, and whether the injury was caused by the faulty hip replacements or a surgical mistake when the hip replacement was implanted, our solicitor will advise you of the next course of action you should take. We will be able to answer any questions you may have about making claims for faulty hip replacements compensation and, if you wish, assess your claim to see if you qualify for “No Win, No Fee” legal representation.
Our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm, seven days a week, and your call to us is completely confidential. Any information or advice provided for you by our experienced Irish solicitors is without obligation on you to proceed with a claim for faulty hip replacements compensation and you can be assured of a friendly and courteous service in plain English.