Sunday 2 October 2011

Johnson & Johnson in the News Again - DePuy ASR Hip Implants Revisited

Article by
Kevin Timms
Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, have issued an urgent product recall of a number of its products.

The following products are affected:

1. BLAKE® Silicone Drain 2. BLAKE® Silicone Drain Kit 3. BLAKE® Cardio Connector 4. J-VAC™ Reservoir 5. J-VAC™ Drain Adapter 
6. Multiple Product Codes and Lots are subject to the recall

Ethicon has identified the potential for the sterile barrier within the product packaging to be compromised after receiving customer complaints. Though Ethicon has not yet received notices of adverse events related to the issue, the chances of an adverse event occurring cannot be ruled out. Both the FDA in America and theMHRA in the UK have been notified of this issue.

For details of the product codes and lots which are subject to the recall you can contact Ethicon direct or alternatively contact Kevin Timms at Garden House Solicitors.

Another division of Johnson & Johnson has been featured in the press recently. DePuy, has issued a recall of its ASR hip replacement and resurfacing system as 1 in 8 patients have required revision surgery within five years of implantation.

Those affected by the DePuy ASR hip replacement or resurfacing system (hip implant) may experience symptoms such as pain, swelling and problems walking.

The reason many of the DePuy ASR hip implants are failing is because the hip implants are made using metal on metal components primarily comprised of Cobalt and Chromium. As the metal on metal components rub together, an abnormally high rate of wear occurs releasing metal ions (particles). These particles react to many patients causing fluid to collect in the joint and the muscles around the joint. If left untreated, this fluid could cause pain and swelling around the joint, causing extensive damage to the muscles, bones and nerves around the hip and may lead to the formation of a ‘pseudotumour’. Those who have experience adverse symptoms from their DePuy ASR Hip Implants should contact Kevin Timms in the Product Liability team at Garden House Solicitors as they may be entitled to make a product liability claim.

The adverse symptoms experienced as a result of the wear of metal on metal hip implants may be experienced by those who have other brands of hip implant which are made of metal on metal components. Those who have metal on metal hip implants should undergo regular blood tests to ensure that their hip implant is functioning properly, particularly if they have been provided with a DePuy ASR hip replacement or resurfacing system.

The reason it is so important to have regular blood tests is because a blood test will enable your medical provider to measure the number of Cobalt and Chromium ions in the patient’s blood. An elevated level of metal ions is an indicator that the patient’s hip implant is failing and therefore further test will be needed. In certain circumstances, an MRI scan or Ultrasound will have to be taken to confirm whether a non malignant pseudotumour has formed. In the event that this has happened, revision surgery may prove more challenging as it may require difficult debridements (the removal of dead or contaminated tissue) and reconstructions.

It is important for patient’s to seek regular medical advice as the Cobalt and Chromium used with metal on metal hip implants has the potential to release metal ions, which may be toxic to cells, induce DNA damage or cause the patient hypersensitivity.

If you have experienced adverse symptoms such as pain, swelling or are having problems walking and you have had a hip implant used with metal on metal components, particularly, the DePuy ASR hip implant, you may be entitled to make a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Please call Kevin Timms in the Product Liability team at Garden House Solicitors on             01992 422 128 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            01992 422 128      end_of_the_skype_highlighting       or email him at to discuss further. Tel: 01992 422 128

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