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Researchers call for a ban on metal-on-metal hip implants

Researchers are calling for a ban of all-metal artificial hips, citing new evidence that the devices are more prone to fail than traditional hip implants made with plastic or ceramic parts. Metal-on-metal hip replacement systems are newer devices that were designed to be more durable than older model hip implants, with a metal ball that moves within a metal socket. However, doctors are beginning to find that the devices may actually be performing worse than older hip implants made of other materials like ceramic and plastic. Artificial hips can last up to 20 years, and failure occurs when the device loosens, ... Read More

Common antibiotics could cause serious eye emergency

Commonly prescribed antibiotics used to everything from respiratory illnesses to urinary tract infections have been linked to a higher risk of retinal detachment, a medical emergency that without rapid treatment could cause vision loss and blindness. Compared to people without retinal detachment, patients who were treated by ophthalmologists for retinal detachment were five times more likely to be taking a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, which include ciprofloxacin, marketed under the names Zoxan, Proquin and Cipro, and levofloxacin, marketed as Levaquin and Cravit. The Canadian study was based on a hunch by lead author Mahyar Etminan, with Child and ... Read More

Consumer Reports chief protests medical device approval process

“It’s a nightmare scenario,” Consumer Reports President Jim Guest wrote in an email blast to one million Americans earlier this year. He was warning consumers that medical devices they assume are safe may not be fully vetted before being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that the federal government needed to change this process that is putting the lives of millions of people at risk. Guest was speaking out against a long-used practice of the FDA in which so-called moderate risk medical devices are approved quickly without testing to prove they are safe and effective if similar ... Read More

FDA warns of mercury poisoning with some cosmetic creams, soaps

Consumers are being warned not to use certain types of skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps or lotions because they contain mercury. Exposure to mercury can cause serious health consequences including damage to the kidneys and nervous system. The products in question are marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. Adolescents also may use these products as acne treatments. Products with this toxic metal have been found in at least seven states. The products are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States – often in shops in Latino, Asian, African, ... Read More

Study indicates metal-on-metal hip implants prone to failure

Surgeons should stop using metal-on-metal hip implants because they are prone to failure and may seep toxic metals into patients’ blood, say researchers who conducted safety studies on various hip replacement systems. The study was published this week in The Lancet. Hip implants are traditionally made with plastic or ceramic parts. But newer models have been designed with all metal parts. The all-metal devices have made news in recent months because of reports of early failures and blood poisoning from the metal components. Determining the failure rate is practically impossible in the United States because there is no joint registry. ... Read More

Researchers warn doctors not to use metal-on-metal hip implants

Researchers who conducted studies on metal-on-metal hip implants are asking doctors to stop using the devices because they believe they are much more likely to need repair or replacement, and may leech toxic metals into patients’ bloodstreams. The study, funded by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, was published online this week in The Lancet. The study involved data of more than 400,000 hip replacement surgeries from the National Joint Registry between 2003 and 2011. More than 31,000 of the surgeries involved metal-on-metal hip implants. The others involved more traditional plastic or ceramic devices. Researchers found that after five ... Read More

Researchers hope to reduce failure rate of artificial hips

A team of researchers at the University of Limerick is working to find innovative ways to improve the lifespan of artificial hips and other orthopaedic implants. The team’s goal is timely. Approximately 750,000 orthopaedic implants are performed each year in the United States. That number is expected to jump to a staggering 4.5 million in the next 20 years. Most implants, such as artificial hips, can be expected to last 20 years or more before they begin to fail and need replacing. But some implants have shown a higher than expected failure rate at five years or less. Researchers hope ... Read More

Most all-metal hip recipients need yearly testing, British regulators warn

Great Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Tuesday advised recipients of certain high-risk all-metal hip implants to be tested annually for the rest of their lives out of concern for illnesses and injuries the implants may cause. Annual blood tests will detect how much cobalt and chromium the hip devices have released into the body through friction between their all-metal parts. Patients with elevated levels of the metals in their blood will need to have magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs) to show any injuries the metal hips may have caused. Many patients who have received one of DePuy ... Read More

Metal hips may be bigger problem than leaking breast implants

Failing metal hip implants may cause problems for more people than the toxin-leaking breast implants circulating in Europe, according to an investigation launched by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC). Europe is currently uncovering shocking news about a type of breast implant made by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) that was made with non-medical-grade silicone. The implants have an increased risk of rupture. Once the gel is released, it can cause inflammation in the surrounding tissue. Some speculate that the gel may also put women at greater risk for developing cancer. An estimated 400,000 ... Read More

Hundreds of thousands may be at risk from faulty all-metal hip implants

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide with all-metal artificial hips may be at risk for toxic ions seeping into their bloodstream and putting them at risk for serious health concerns, according to an investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC). The agencies compared the metal hip crisis to another medical device health crisis, toxic-leaking breast implants, which an estimated 400,000 women in 65 countries (excluding the United States) received. The European Union (EU) is currently embroiled in a scandal involving  a type of breast implant made by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP). It ... Read More