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Developments in the DePUY ASR hip recall in Ireland

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DePUY ASR hip device
Many of our clients who have been affected by the worldwide DePuy ASR hip recall which was announced in August of last year have by now received the results of their blood tests to identify the levels of cobalt and chromium in their systems. However, others are still waiting for their results notwithstanding the fact that, in some instances, they provided their blood samples as long ago as last November.  The fact that the HSE and DePuy have allowed a delay of over three months, in circumstances where these people are understandably very apprehensive, is extremely regrettable. If our clients’ experiences are representative of the overall situation it would appear that in the majority of cases the serum levels are below those which have been deemed to be safe.  This fact, however, raises it own questions about the levels which have been set by the HSE in conjunction with DePuy and whether these are too high. We have several clients whose ion levels are not in excess of the limits which have been set but who had nevertheless been experiencing severe pain and complications with their ASR implants well before the recall was announced.  What’s more, they sought medical attention to alleviate their difficulties before they even heard about the recall, meaning that there can be no suggestion that they are now merely experiencing psychosomatic symptoms.  It is therefore clear that ion levels alone cannot be relied upon to determine whether an implant is malfunctioning. While clear guidelines have not yet been circulated to surgeons about the management of patients who are symptom-free but who have raised ion levels, the position being adopted at present seems to be to avoid revision surgery if at all possible given the risks involved with this procedure, and to continue to monitor the patient’s ion levels and general health into the future. A number of our clients who did not present with heightened levels of cobalt and chromium ions in their bloodstreams have already undergone revision surgery because of serious complications which they were encountering with their prostheses. While DePuy have on the one hand claimed that they will carry the costs of patients who require follow-up treatment, they have on the other made it clear that if a patient quite reasonably seeks to retain the ASR prosthesis which is removed during revision surgery for evidentiary purposes DePuy will not pay for the cost of decontaminating the explanted device.  This is a most unreasonable position bearing in mind that DePuy have not confirmed to the individuals concerned that they will compensate them for the pain, suffering and economic loss which they will endure as a consequence of the revision surgery. DePuy would at this stage appear to have given up on their demands that a so-called “consent form” which they had prepared had to be completed as precondition of their willingness to fund any revision surgery and follow-up treatment.  Individuals who are affected by the recall should nevertheless continue to exercise vigilance if they are asked to sign anything before submitting themselves to treatment. If you have been affected by the ASR hip implant recall and would like to arrange a free initial consultation with John McCarthy feel free to call him on 023 883 3348 or email him at to discuss your case in complete confidence and without commitment.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels. John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.


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