Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuits

metal on metal hip replacement implantsJohnson & Johnson is facing up to 10,000 law suits due to the failure of the all metal DePuy ASR hip implants. The implants were recalled in 2010 following acknowledgement on the part of Johnson & Johnson that the devices had a higher than expected failure rate. Internal documentation revealed that the company’s own estimates predicted that 37% would fail within 4.6 years. As many as 93,000 ASR hip implants were sold prior to the 2010 recall.

The first of these cases is currently being tried in Los Angeles Superior Court. The Plaintiff alleges that the defective implants released toxic amounts of metal ions causing a form of metal poisoning.  Johnson & Johnson maintains that the levels were not high enough to cause health problems. Surgeons have predominantly stopped using metal on metal devices because of evidence that the components grind together and release metal debris, resulting in damage to tissue and bone.

Last month Johnson & Johnson recalled a  2nd type of metal hip implant that is sold outside the United States. The recent recall applies to the Adept metal-on-metal hip replacement device. Research shows that these devices need to be replaced after about 7 years in 12 % of the patients. Most hip implants are made with metal and plastic and often last up to 15 years.

For more information about problems associated with these devices and the recalls visit the FDA Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants page.

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Hospital Safety Scores Updated

health care providers washing handsLeapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization, recently concluded a study on Hospital Safety. With a focus on quality and affordable healthcare, the group launched the Hospital Safety Score project in June 2012. Hospitals were graded based on “preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections”. Of the 2618 hospitals studied, 790 received an A, 678 earned a B, 1004 earned a C, 121 earned a D, and 25 received a failing grade. Both Massachusetts and Maine demonstrated exceptional safety results with 83% of Massachusetts hospitals and 80% of Maine hospitals earning an A score.

Consumers are able to check the safety score of their local hospitals at Hospital Safety Score. For a summary of the Leapfrog Group study go to : http://www.leapfroggroup.org/policy_leadership/leapfrog_news/4971031

The Leapfrog Group encourages people who have been hurt by errors or accidents at a healthcare facility to share their stories with ProPublica, an independent organization that investigates patient safety concerns. People who wish to contact ProPublica may call the organizations hotline at (917)512-0241 or visit the online interactive web survey at: http://www.propublica.org/article/patient-harm-questionnaire.