The demand for hip-replacement surgeries is on the rise–so is the number of product liability claims involving defective implants. According to Consumer Reports, there is an increasing number of hip and knee implant requests coming from younger consumers. As the demand for implants grows, consumers need to be aware of the potential risks of defective medical devices and be able to take action in the event of a medical device injury or wrongful death.
Many consumers do not realize that hip implants do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty. For young consumers, this means that an implant could give out, cause future problems or require replacement. Our Massachusetts defective hip attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers and to helping victims of medical device injury pursue just compensation. We are dedicated to raising awareness to improve medical safety and to raise standards for manufacturers of medical devices.
Consumers Union has called on hip replacement manufacturers to provide a warranty on their products. This would give consumers the right to a replacement of a defective device at no cost. In addition to giving patients a remedy in the event of a defect, warranties would also provide consumers with a clearer understanding of how long an implant should be expected to last. The consumer group hopes that ultimately, a warranty requirement would raise standards for manufacturers so that companies are held responsible for producing safe medical devices.
Defective implants are a huge risk and cost for patients. In addition to replacement surgery, many victims face additional complications. The surgery for hip replacement is highly invasive and could lead to infections and other post-surgical risks. Many patients who require replacement of a defective hip will also pay higher costs for “revision” surgery and require a hospital stay. Some patients will require additional surgeries after the initial replacement. According to Consumer Reports, 18 percent of hip replacements and 8 percent of knee replacements in the U.S. are for revisions.
As demand for hip replacements continues to grow, medical device manufacturers as well as patients should be aware of the potential risks of dangerous products. The number of hip replacement surgeries is expected to double by the year 2030, reaching an alarming number of 4 million surgeries per year. More than 50% of these surgeries are expected to be performed on patients under 65.
A review of hip implant recalls indicate that all major manufacturers have recalled at least one product line for defects over the last 10 years. Victims have experienced debilitating symptoms from metal debris, resulting in neurological and heart conditions. Alarmingly, most hip implants are allowed on the market without a review by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness. The current law allows companies to simply demonstrate that the products are “substantively equivalent” to another product currently on the market. This sets the bar disturbingly low for patients awaiting a new replacement or who have already experienced damage from an existing medical device.
It is estimated that the cost for hip implant revision and replacement surgeries is hundreds of millions of dollars per year. A warranty system would give consumers a better understanding of their rights and obligations and ultimately improve the quality of medical devices, especially for patients who will need the implant to last for decades.
If you are the victim of a defective medical device in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Oregon Implant Malpractice Case Heads to Court, Product Liability Lawyer Blog, September 14, 2013.
Bellwether Transvaginal Mesh Trial Underway Following Previous Mistrial, Aug. 20, 2013, Boston Transvaginal Mesh Surgery Lawyer Blog