The Guardian reports on a Birmingham woman who died of a heart attack caused by cement used in her hip implant. The 75-year-old schoolteacher reportedly led a healthy, active life, walking several miles daily. But during an operation to treat a fractured hip, the woman expired on the operating table from a rare condition known as bone cement implantation syndrome.
This is just one in a series of stories told by patients who were injured by hip implants. In the Birmingham woman’s case, the death was accidental and its risk acknowledged. But some patients claim their injuries were the result of defective design and inadequate device testing. This is true especially of those who received metal-on-metal implants. Popular manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip replacement and resurfacing implants include DePuy, Smith & Nephew, and Zimmer. The metal-on-metal design of these devices can lead to a condition called metallosis, caused by the buildup of toxic metal particles released when parts of the implant abrade against one another. Metallosis can result in severe pain, inflammation, and nausea, and may cause hip implants to become dislodged, necessitating costly revision surgery.
Many hip implant lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigations. For instance, DePuy faces over 10,000 hip replacement lawsuits, which have been centralized in two multidistrict litigations, for its ASR and Pinnicle implants; and more than 400 Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuits are pending in federal court in New Jersey.
The Guardian article points to increasing concerns about heart attacks and deaths caused by hip repair surgery where cement is used. A recent audit suggested bone cement implantation syndrome might be causing as many as 75 deaths each year. The Birmingham woman’s family is puzzled over why cement is so widely used in the UK when doctors admit they know little about why it is dangerous.
The lawyers at Lopez McHugh are dedicated to protecting the rights and welfare of patients who have been injured by faulty medical devices. If you or a loved one suffered from a failed hip replacement or resurfacing implant, contact our legal team today for a free consultation. You may qualify for compensation through a hip implant lawsuit.