Medical Danger

The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement: A Recalled Medical Device

The ball and socket joint, more commonly known as the hip joint, is one of the largest joints in the human body. Its major function is to support the upper body in various activities, including walking, running or standing; it also enables a person to perform certain movements, such as bending and stretching.

Hip joints are made up of bones that are connected by tough tissues, called ligaments, and strong muscles which hold the hip joint together and prevent it from becoming dislocated. Ligaments are lubricated with fluid so as to reduce the friction between bones, while another kind of tissue, called the cartilage, surrounds the joints to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other.

Despite the ligaments and the muscles that protect the hip joint, there are still instances when this joint gets damaged, such as when a person suffers: hip fracture due to a fall or an accident; rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints’ lining; or osteoarthritis, or wear and tear of the arthritis, a condition wherein the cartilage becomes worn away, resulting to the rubbing of the bones.

A damaged hip joint, which causes persistent pain and makes everyday activities harder to perform, needs to be replaced. Replacement will be an artificial joint, known as prosthesis – this can be made from metal alloy or ceramic.

Hip joint replacement is done through surgery, a medical practice which began in the 1960s. Its purpose is to improve a person’s quality of life by relieving him/her of the pain due to damaged hip, as well as improving the function of his/her hip and ability to move around.

One product which became a well-accepted hip joint replacement was the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement. This Johnson & Johnson product was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for distribution in 2005. As it was the first orthopedic company in the U.S., DePuy Orthopaedics become a trusted name and was able to maintain leadership in the hip replacement business for more than 40 years.

According to the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, however, the fame of the DePuy ASR hip replacement was not able to hide the serious problems which caused patients (implanted with the device) to develop severe medical conditions or require additional surgery. The damaging effects the DePuy device has been linked with include dangerous, even deadly, fragments from the device spreading inside the body, bone fracture, component misalignment, loosening components, metal sensitivity, dislocation, pain, bone staining, increased levels of metal ion in the blood, metal toxicity or metal poisoning, infection, swelling, necrosis (or tissue death), and nerve, muscle and tissue damage.

In 2008 and onwards, about 400 complaints have reached the FDA concerning revision surgeries on patients who have been implanted with the DePuy ASR hip replacement. Due to the complaints and the side effects the device has been linked to, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. issued a recall on the devide on August 24, 2010. With more than a million patients worldwide having received the DePuy hip implant, more lawsuits are expected to be filed.

Defective medical devices is just one area of the various frightening realities which make up the issue of medical malpractice. Liable parties, whether manufacturers of pharmaceutical products or medical health professionals need to be brought to justice; harmed patients, on the other hand, have the legal right to seek compensation for all the damages these defective devices may cause them. Being represented by a skilled, experienced and determined lawyer may be a necessity to make sure that the injured victim gets the compensation that he/she legally deserves.

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Workplace Accidents

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that became one of the most commonly used materials throughout the 20th century, namely in construction, manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries. Come mid-20th century, however, the connection between asbestos exposure and harmful respiratory problems-often cancerous- was made, and it’s use was strictly limited thereafter. According to Williams Kherkher, companies are responsible for taking reasonable safety precautions and making sure workers and visitors are kept out of danger, but unfortunately, the necessary precautions are not always carried out to the fullest, or even at all. Even though federal law mandated as of 1970 that no building, construction or worksite may contain more than 1% of asbestos, the United States is still one of the few developed countries that hasn’t banned it all together. Naturally, this leaves a window of possible exposure open. The most common occupations that have the highest potential for exposure include construction workers, railroad workers, contract workers, factory employees, military personnel, and firefighters, all of which are exposed to and must handle asbestos in the workplace.

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Medical Malpractice: More than Just a Hypothetical Claim

There are many heralds who proclaim the greatness of the revolutionary equipment and medication that have come into fruition of the modern day. There have been sicknesses that have been completely eradicated and, should new ones arise, science has allowed for humankind to treat such maladies quickly and efficiently in such a way that was impossible only fifty years ago.

Paradoxically enough, the more man understands science and its nature – the more there is they find out that they do not know. Medicine and science are ever expanding fields. Methods become obsolete and new ones are introduced every single day. That is why going into the profession requires dedication, talent, and skill due to the responsibility that their title holds. Should there be any sort of misdemeanor or negligence, there are very severe consequences that can make the patient suffer to which the medical practitioner must then answer for.

Any act of negligence – either willfully or ignorantly made – by a medical practitioner towards a patient falls under a subset of personal injury called medical malpractice, according to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP. After all, it is one of the most traumatizing cases involving personal injury. Imagine that you have put your trust and life in the hands of someone who was supposed to take care of you – and then didn’t, and even made the pain and suffering worse. A lot of cases involving medical malpractice involve lifelong consequences, including permanent disability, spinal cord or brain injury, or birth defects. In 1 out of 25 cases of medical malpractice in some states, the wronged patient even dies as a result of wrongful death.

Take the case of the da Vinci Robot, for example. There have been studies and claims that have cited this supposedly revolutionary piece of medical technology as defective to the point that it can cause excessive bleeding, among other things – including, possibly, death.

These scenarios are very real and even modern science hasn’t quite invented a way to fix something as permanent as spinal cord injury – or bringing someone back from the dead. These are matters that need to be taken seriously and this can only be done if the person who has suffered under the wrong knife seeks justice and recompense for the wrong done to them.

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