2020 marks the five-year anniversary of the recall for the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System manufactured by the medical device company, Smith and Nephew. The BHR is a metal-on-metal hip implant that consists of the metals cobalt and chromium. In the FDA’s reasoning for the recall in 2015, the department stated that it observed that the BHR had revision rates far higher than established benchmarks. This indicates that after patients underwent surgery for the hip implant the BHR created serious complications that required additional surgery to fix the failed implant. During revision surgery, the damaged device is removed and a new implant is put in its place.
If you received the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, you may have encountered the following issues that will result or have resulted in revision surgery:
- Hip and leg pain
- Loss of movement
- Chromium and cobalt blood poisoning
In 2019, the FDA published an article addressing the risks of metal-on-metal hip implants. The statement asserts that as a patient with a metal-on-metal hip implant exercises the metal ball and the metal cup slide against each other. The friction created from the movement can cause metal particles to be released into the body. These small metal scraps splinter off from the device and are released into the area encompassing the implant. Metal particles can also be released into the body through corrosion as the metal breaks down. When metal ions from the cobalt and chromium enter the bloodstream, the patient is susceptible to blood poisoning.
Over time, the bone and tissue encircling the implant become damaged by the corrosion and metal scraps. The damage to the bone and tissue may lead to inflammation and cause the implant to disengage from its intended position. When the implant becomes disconnected the patient can lose mobility. Complications like these put the patients’ health at risk and result in the need for revision surgery.
Victims May Be Entitled to Compensation
Many patients have filed lawsuits against metal-on-metal hip implant manufacturers like Smith & Nephew who claim they were injured by these metal devices. Most of these lawsuits are based on product liability law. Under product liability, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to ensure that their products are free from any unreasonable defects that may harm consumers. Most of these lawsuits contend that metal hips were defectively designed and carried defective warnings.
There are patients who received the BHR that do not know they may be entitled to compensation. For those who received a BHR between 2006 and 2015 and have had to undergo revision surgery or are in the process of scheduling a revision or removal surgery, it is important to speak with an attorney to make sure to preserve any claims that individual may have.
Working primarily with dangerous drug and defective medical device cases, Whitney takes pride in representing the wrongfully injured in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina. She takes pride in offering experienced legal guidance with both responsiveness and compassion—all of which speaks to her dedication to helping each and every one of her clients.