Medical devices perform an important function in keeping us healthy but sometimes such devices fail, are recalled and have disastrous effects for huge numbers of patients.
One such example involves the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR metal hip implant systems which were once a popular choice of surgeons and patients from 2005-2010.
However, it soon became apparent that the devices were failing at frighteningly high levels that have since been reported by some medical experts at rates as high as 44 percent and a massive recall was initiated in 2010 by the firm’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson.
DePuy’s web site has posted a generic, understated description of the recall:
“In August 2010, DePuy issued a voluntary recall of our ASR™ Hip System after receiving new, then-unpublished data from a joint replacement registry in the UK. This data indicated that while many patients with the ASR Hip System were not experiencing any problems, a higher number of ASR patients than previously reported to DePuy needed a second surgery, called a revision surgery. It is important for all ASR patients to have their hip evaluated by their doctor.”
What is not mentioned in this posting is that the failed ASR hip systems have forced thousands of patients to undergo these second operations and others have been forced to seek additional medical attention for continued pain and suffering.
The failed devices have also generated a huge number of DePuy metal hip implant lawsuits across the country. Many of these were consolidated into what is called a multidistrict litigation.
This has been costly for Johnson & Johnson. The company is now in the process of attempting to settle many of about 12,000 lawsuits filed against DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson over DePuy ASR metal hip implants over allegations that the devices were defective.
The settlement does not affect all DePuy hip implant recipients and there still remains additional litigation in the future because individual victims have the option of declining settlements they do not consider fair. In addition, DePuy faces countless other ASR hip implant lawsuits that have been filed in other countries.