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First hip-injury lawsuit against DePuy gets green light in Ireland

An Irish woman who had both of her hips replaced with DePuy hip implants filed what is expected to be the first of many lawsuits against the orthopedic device maker in Ireland. Irene Pierson alleges in her lawsuit that the DePuy hip implants were “not of merchantable quality, and have both commenced to malfunction,” Ireland’s Kildare Nationalist reported. Ms. Pierson had her right hip replaced with a DePuy implant in March 2007. She was fitted with a DePuy implant in her left hip in September 2008. Ireland’s High Court granted Ms. Pierson approval to serve the defendants she names in ... Read More

Hospital waste management device recalled after reports of serious injury, death

One patient was seriously injured and another one died after a hospital suction device malfunctioned and caused tissue damage. The medical device company Stryker Instruments has issued a recall and is warning health care providers not to use the affected devices unless there is no alternative suction device or waste management system. The recall includes the Neptune 1 Silver Waste Management System (Neptune 1 Silver) and the Neptune 2 Ultra Waste Management System (Neptune 2 Ultra). Both devices are intended to collect and dispose of surgical fluid waste in operating rooms and surgical facilities. The Neptune 2 Ultra can also ... Read More

Dozens of UK citizens sue DePuy, others for failed metal hips

Dozens of metal-on-metal hip replacement patients in South Yorkshire, Great Britain, are seeking damages from the manufacturers of the hip devices, alleging injuries ranging from device failure to toxic metal poisoning. According to The Star, 34 patients in South Yorkshire are suing DePuy Orthopaedics, maker of the ASR XL Acetabular and Hip Resurfacing systems, which the company recalled in August 2010 after medical data indicated a staggering number of the devices failed prematurely. Since then, patients have reported myriad problems, including intense pain, dislocation, immobility, bone fracture, muscle and tissue decay, nausea, and other severe complications linked to hip devices ... Read More

Plaintiffs allege DePuy hip implants caused extensive bodily damage

Plaintiffs from four states filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, and related companies in a Madison County, Wisconsin, Circuit Court June 29, seeking damages from injuries allegedly caused by metal hip implants made by DePuy. According to the complaint, 21 plaintiffs from California, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri underwent hip replacement surgery, receiving DePuy metal-on-metal hip implants. However, the lawsuit alleges, instead of improving their lives, the devices malfunctioned and caused the plaintiffs to experience a spectrum of painful and crippling injuries, including bone and tissue loss, neurological injuries, cancer, liver and kidney damage, and other ... Read More

Smith & Nephew recalls 7,700 metal hip devices

In June, medical technology corporation Smith & Nephew announced it is recalling its R3 Acetabular System, an optional metal liner component usually used in conjunction with stemmed total hip implants. This latest recall adds to growing fears over the high rate of premature failure associated with artificial hip implants made with metal-on-metal components and the speed at which many of these devices were rushed to market. “We regularly review the effectiveness of our products and are not satisfied with the clinical results of this component,” Andy Weymann MD, Smith & Nephew’s Chief Medical Officer said in a statement about the ... Read More

New study sheds light on “genotoxic” damage rendered by metal hip implants

Researchers have a better understanding of why patients often suffer from inflammation and other long-term, chronic illnesses after being implanted with artificial hip devices made from all metal parts, such as the ASR hip implants recalled by DePuy Orthopaedics in August 2010. Researchers from Ohio State University and Imperial College London have combined high-resolution X-ray technology and electron microscopy to study the inflamed tissue surrounding the metal-on-metal hip devices implanted in patients. Their study, published in the journal Chemical Communications, found that inflammation occurs when Cobalt2+ ions are shed by the cobalt-chromium implants into the surrounding tissue. Previous studies have ... Read More

Canada issues new alert for metal hip patients and their doctors

Canadian regulators have issued a new alert for patients who have been implanted with metal-on-metal hip devices, advising them to watch for certain signs that could indicate the implants are failing. Prompted by growing concerns over the safety of hip implant devices made of all-metal components, Health Canada says that patients who have received such implants should “be on the lookout for pain the groin, hip or leg, swelling at or near the hip joint, or onset of a limp or change in walking ability or limited range of motion,” according to The Canadian Press. Much of the concern about ... Read More

UK regulators issue warning about DePuy’s MITCH TRH all-metal hip implants

The United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a safety warning for MITCH TRH acetabular cups and MITCH TRH modular heads – a metal-on-metal hip implant system manufactured by U.K.-based Finsbury Orthopaedics, a division of DePuy Orthopaedics. Both companies are owned by healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. The MITCH TRH System is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system consisting of components that can be used in different combinations to carry out either hip resurfacing arthroplasty or total hip replacement. In the new Medical Device Alert, MHRA regulators warn that a higher-than-expected number of DePUY MITCH hip devices ... Read More

Some DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits heading to trial this year

The first lawsuits filed against health care giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics by plaintiffs alleging injuries caused by DePuy’s metal-on-metal ASR hip devices will go to court this year. About 4,200 lawsuits have been filed against the companies in federal court, with another 2,000 filed in state courts. The first state lawsuits are slated to go to trial in Las Vegas, Nevada, in mid-December 2012, with another trial scheduled for January 2012 in a Maryland state court. Federal lawsuits, which will be tried in U.S. District Court in West Virginia, will probably be heard in March ... Read More

Testosterone drug use building to an epidemic of health problems, doctors fear

AndroGel, Testim and other topical testosterone gel products were designed to restore healthy levels of functioning in men suffering from diminished bone and muscle mass, depression, weakened libido and other symptoms associated with low testosterone levels, or “Low T”. But now doctors are worried the testosterone drugs – coveted by many men for their sexual enhancement properties — are quickly creating another hormone-replacement health crisis in the United States. Bloomberg reports that AndroGel manufacturer Abbott Laboratories and other drug companies making and marketing testosterone drugs are offering to help some 14 million American men whose testosterone levels may be lower ... Read More