DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has recalled the ASR XL Acetabular System, a prosthesis used in total hip replacements. Approximately 93,000 of the defective prostheses have been implanted. The failure rate is extraordinarily high because of the metal-on-metal surface, which releases microscopic metal particles into the body. Some patients have had reactions to these particles, such as pain, swelling, and loosening of the prosthesis.
Now DePuy Orthopedics is trying to gather evidence directly from physicians about their patients. Physicians are being asked to obtain medical authorizations from their patients which will allow the physicians to release medical information directly to the manufacturer of the defective product.
If you have a DePuy prostheses, we recommend that you not authorize the release of your medical records to DePuy. Instead, you should consult with a competent attorney who can advise you as to your rights and as to the best course of action before releasing any information.
If you are planning to have an operation to replace a defective DePuy hip prosthesis, you should make sure that the device is preserved as evidence. You should ask for and obtain the device from the hospital. If they refuse to give it to you, you should ensure that they preserve it for future inspection and analysis.
If you are asked to give a blood sample to the device manufacturer, you should probably decline. If your physician asks for a blood sample to determine whether or not you have metallic particles in your blood, you should certainly comply as that is in your medical best interest.
In summary, if you think you may have a defective DePuy hip prosthesis the first thing you should do is consult your orthopedic surgeon. The next thing you should do is retain an experienced and qualified product liability attorney to advise you as to your rights to recover for your injuries associated with this device. You should avoid direct contact with the manufacturer or their representatives. An experienced attorney will be able to best assist you with not only obtaining the best possible medical care but also will ensure that all of your rights to possible compensation are protected.
The lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C. of Boston have over 75 years of combined experience representing individuals who have been injured by defective medical devices and medical malpractice. If you have questions about your potential rights, please feel free to call Breakstone, White & Gluck for a free consultation at 800-379-1244.
For more information regarding the DePuy recall, read our previous blog.