Dr. Thomas Schmalzried, an orthopedic surgeon and one of the lead designers of the ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, testified before a jury this week that he would not implant the device in patients today. Schmalzied made the statement while testifying at the second trial involving the DePuy all-metal hip implants, which have since been taken off the market.
An estimated 93,000 people worldwide received the DePuy ASR hip implant when they were recalled in 2010. Johnson & Johnson and DePuy face more than 10,000 lawsuits from patients who say they were injured by the defective devices. Many had to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the implant. Some also suffered from metallosis, a type of blood poisoning caused from metal ions escaping from the implant and leeching into the bloodstream.
Despite saying he believed the devices were properly designed and developed, Schmalzied said he would not use the devices again. The surgeon’s testimony left many wondering if he struck favors with the prosecution or the defense. Schmalzied also testified that he had no knowledge of a “vigilance department” that was set up to gather data for complaints on the implants. Schmalzied says he no longer uses the implants.
The first DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant case to be tried recently concluded in a jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy to the tune of $8.3 million in damages.
Source: Mass Device