Distressing and Dangerous Symptoms of Metal Poisoning Caused by Defective DePuy ASR Hip Implants

Of the many symptoms stemming from the recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implants, perhaps metallosis is the most alarming. Metallosis is a form of metal poisoning caused when metal parts of the implant rub up against each other, generating large quantities of microscopic metallic debris that is absorbed by surrounding bodily tissue and the blood stream. The metal parts can rub together as a result of fracture, loosening, or dislocation of the hip implant component parts. Under normal operating conditions, hip implants should not generate noticeable amounts of metallic debris.

When the microscopic metallic debris enters the bloodstream, the body’s immune system recognizes the metallic debris as foreign agents, much like a bacteria or virus. This is a form of blood poisoning. As a consequence, the body creates an immune response that can include swelling, inflammation, and internal scarring. Further, reactions from the white blood cells generated by the immune system in order to stave off the invasion of the metallic debris can cause the loss of muscle, nerve, and bone tissue around the hip implant location, resulting in the inability to walk, as well as the onset of severe pain, in some individuals. Tumors have even been observed forming around the areas of the body where large quantities of metallic debris have developed in those with metallosis.

In its Recall Reference Guide, DePuy notes that recipients of the defective hip implants should receive a number of tests to detect for metallosis, including blood tests for elevated cobalt and chromium levels by way of a Mars MRI or ultrasound. It could take at least a couple of these tests to determine whether a patient’s blood has toxic levels of chromium or cobalt, and the results of these tests aren’t always immediately available. In fact, the DePuy reference guide suggests follow-up tests for some individuals as long as three months after the initial MRI to see if the metal debris levels have increased or subsided. If a final test shows a positive toxicity of metal in the patient’s blood, then the only remedial medical action available is a revision surgery to extract the flawed hip implant and replace it with a functional unit. Revision surgeries are not only costly, but they can bring with it risks and dangers inherent in any major medical operation.

Due to the serious nature of metallosis, and the corresponding revision surgeries associated with the recalled DePuy ASR hip implants, it is likely DePuy will be legally responsible for billions of dollars worth of damages. Unquestionably, DePuy’s legal and scientific teams understand the dire consequences the recalled hip implants have created and will do everything possible to lessen the amount it owes to victims. With the potential for crippling ailments such as metallosis listed above, it is critical hip implant recipients consult an attorney before making a final settlement with DePuy.

Accordingly, patients who have received a hip implant since 2003 should not hesitate to contact attorneys at Berniard Law Firm for a free assessment of their legal situation surrounding the DePuy ASR hip implant recall. The attorneys at Berniard Law Firm are well versed in the medical terminology present in any medical documents you may have in your possession, and they know how your medical outlook relates to your legal situation.

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