Pharmaceutical

Five Chicago hip implant patients file lawsuits against DePuy

An ABC affiliate in Chicago reports that five Chicago area residents are filing lawsuits against DePuy Orthopedics, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, over their defective hip implant devices.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, the DePuy hip implant recipients accuse the manufacturer of ignoring evidence that the hip implant devices were defective and then acting too slowly to recall them. The implants contain large metal-on-metal components which with friction release potentially toxic heavy metals into the bloodstream and surrounding tissue. DePuy artificial hip recipients across the United States have reported symptoms associated with metalosis or metal poisoning because of the faulty implants.

DePuy Orthopedics issued a recall notice for its ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems last August after they had been implanted in 93,000 patients. The decision to launch a recall of the devices was made when the results of a new study confirmed that 12 percent of the ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems and 13 percent of the ASR XL hip implants failed within 5 years of being surgically fitted.

Device failure requires patients to undergo another major surgery or “revision” to replace the hip implants. However, with each revision surgery, surgeons have less bone to work with, leaving patients to face a longer recovery and a greater risk of implant failure.

ABC7 said that one of the Chicago-area plaintiffs was in the process of getting her implants removed.

“She can’t walk. She can’t do anything. (She’s) in deep pain. I have two children. I have to take care of them take care of her,” the patient’s husband said.