More medical devices needed, study finds

BPS is here to serve our clients during this COVID-19 crisis. Pursuant to Governor Lamont’s Executive Order, legal services are essential services. Whether or not we are in our offices, Brown Paindiris & Scott, LLP Lawyers are available by email, phone and video conference. Read More.

A study conducted by Research and Markets, one of the world's leaders in market research, predicts the global medical device industry will grow significantly over the next few years. Key areas of growth include orthopedics, cardiovascular, gastroenterology, urology and obstetric health needs.

One area of orthopedics that will likely continue to grow is the use of synthetic joints like those used for hip replacement procedures.

Are these procedures safe?

A recent study out of the Netherlands supported by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health reviewed the success rate of surgical procedures used for knee and hip implants. Researchers found medical professionals have made significant increases in safety since 1990. Medical advances like the use of blood thinners after surgery to reduce the risk of potentially fatal blood clots have made these invasive procedures relatively safe. More specifically, the study found patients who had hip or knee replacement between 1989 and 1991 were at a 3.4 percent risk of death dropped to 1.4 percent for those who had the replacement surgery from 2003 to 2007.

Although these advances have decreased the dangers associated with the actual surgical procedure, issues surrounding the devices used to replace the joints continue to cause injuries to patients.

Hip replacement devices have had medical defect issues in the past.

A number of hip replacement devices have been recalled for various reasons. The DePuy system was recalled in 2010 due to data indicating a high failure rate. According to some studies, their "metal on metal" products experienced a 40 percent failure rate in five years. Generally, similar devices are estimated to last 15 years before needing replacement.

Federal regulations offer protection.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the government body responsible for regulating medical devices. The research noted above which found an increased failure rate in certain medical devices used during hip replacement procedures prompted a voluntary recall of some DePuy prosthetic hips.

Patients have experienced injuries connected to the use of metal on metal hip implants, including a need to replace the devices. Some have filed suit and at least one jury has found the manufacturer guilty of inappropriately marketing the device, according to a report by the New York Times covering a case in the Chicago area. The case provides hope for those suffering from similar injuries. If you or a loved one experienced injuries connected to a hip replacement or knee replacement procedure, it is important to know that compensation may be available. This could help cover the cost of medical treatment, revision surgery, rehabilitation and potentially pain and suffering. Contact an experienced hip and knee implant lawyer to better ensure all potential legal remedies are protected.