You may have heard reports in the press that the HSE plans to order a review of patients fitted with metal-on-metal hip replacements. A similar review was carried out in the UK last year by the MHRA, the medical devices regulatory body in the UK.
Estimates of between 6,500 and 8,000 have appeared in the press of patient numbers in Ireland that were fitted with medal-on-metal replacement devices. Some 3,500 of these were made up of ASR devices manufactured by DePuy which have been recalled in 2010. John acts for many patients affected by the DePuy ASR recall and proceedings in many of those cases are at an advanced stage.
The HSE has been quoted as saying that the new review was not prompted by any specific safety concerns, they state that this is a review not a recall.
The MHRA in the UK reviewed four groups of devices last year:
1. Metal-on-metal (MoM) hip resurfacing implants.
2. MoM total hip replacements with a head diameter =36mm
4. DePuy ASR hip replacements
A new Irish national database of all knee and hip joint replacement surgeries called the Irish National Orthopaedic Register (INOR) is also being established and will begin logging patients from September. This will not only monitor the performance of medical devices but it will also monitor the activity of medical professionals and institutions.
The HSE is to issue letters to patients affected by this review in the coming days.
We will be keeping a close eye on developments. If you have any concerns in relation to an issue with a replacement device you should make contact with John.