Sunday, December 23, 2012

DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII Hip Implant Misidentification: The Airport I.D. Card and What Hip Implant Recipients Should Know

For many years now, metal on metal hips have been distributed and widely utilized throughout the world in multiple market places including the United States of America. In 2010, DePuy recalled its ASR model and most recently in 2012, Stryker has recalled its Rejuvenate and ABGII models.  The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implants were recalled due to findings that there were incidences of corrosion of the hardware components causing severe pain and discomfort as well as other possible medical issues. The DePuy ASR recall was based on findings of blood toxicity and/or poisoning, metallosis, elevated levels of Chromium and Cobalt, and other associated medical issues.

Confusion Over DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII Hip Implants:

Recent information has to come to light regarding hip replacement recipients and the possible misidentification of recalled Stryker ABGII and Stryker Rejuvenate models, recalled DePuy ASR model, and other model hip implants. Specifically, many hip implant recipients do not have accurate information as to what hip implant they have, and may be mistaken (through no fault of their own) as to the specific manufacturer, type, or model of implant that was used in their specific procedure, and as such, may not be aware of all of their rights under the law.


How Could DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII Hip Implant Misidentification Occur?

For many years, orthopedic surgeons have performed hip replacement surgeries and would choose the manufacturer and model of the implant used based on many factors including but not limited to availability, specific patient necessity, the most current research available, the patient’s lifestyle, additional medical conditions or any other circumstances that were present in the specific case.  The manufacturers of the different implants would then supply the hardware as well as stacks of “airport identification cards” to the physician and their offices for distribution to the implant recipients. These airport I.D. cards were specific to each manufacturer and generally stated the name of the manufacturer (including the manufacturer/model), that the card holder was in fact a recipient of a their hip implant, the associated hardware, and as such may inadvertently set off the metal detectors at security check points such as those found at airports. The purpose of the doctor’s distribution of these airport identification cards to their patients was not to identify the manufacturer or type of implant the patient had (as most security personnel would be not be informed as to the technical/medical differences in each manufacturer and model of implant).

The purpose was to provide their patients with a simple a way of informing the security personnel that they had hip replacement hardware and as such, different security protocols may need to be implemented. Because the physician’s purpose in distributing the airport I.D. cards was not to inform the security personnel of the specific details of the implant (manufacturer, model, etc), but only to inform them that there was the presence of an implant, it became the practice of some  physicians, on occasion,  to simply distribute whatever airport I.D. card they had on hand in their offices, and not the airport I.D. cards that were specific to the manufacturer of the actual implant in each specific patient. In addition, after 9/11, many security checkpoint protocols changed. Regardless of the patient providing an airport I.D. card, the security personnel often subjected the implant recipient to additional security screenings and as a result the possession of an airport I.D. card became obsolete. As such, many doctors altogether stopped distributing any airport I.D. cards to their hips implant patients.


What does this mean for DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII Hip Implant Recipients?

Many Hip Implant Recipients may have misidentified the type of hip implant that they have. The loosely regarded airport identification card distribution methodologies utilized by physicians has allowed for the situation where hip replacement patients either 1) had no airport I.D. cards or 2) possessed an airport I.D. card that did not match the actual hip implant hardware used in their procedure. That being the case, many hip implant recipients are misinformed as to the manufacturer and model of implant that was used during their procedure. When the different manufacturers finally began making their product recalls, many patients simply took out their airport I.D. cards, compared the listed manufacturer and model on their cards to the ones that were being recalled, and assumed that if they did not match, then they did not have a recalled hip implant, which may not necessarily be the case.


What should DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII Hip Implant Recipients do next?
 
Hip Implant Recipients must protect their rights under the law. The best way to do this is to establish whether or not they may have a case against Stryker or DePuy for the hip implants these companies have respectively recalled (DePuy ASR, Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII).  A highly qualified products liability attorney can help with this legal process. These hip implant lawyers can help to determine what manufacturer and model of implant recipients have by ordering a copy of pertinent medical records from treating physicians and/or the hospital where surgeries were performed. A hip implant attorney can also help you to avoid waiving any rights or claims you may have.
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