Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Misidentification of Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII and DePuy ASR Hip Implants: What Hip Implant Recipients Should Know about Airport I.D. Cards

Metal on metal hips have been distributed in the United States for many years now, but recent information has revealed that many hip implant recipients may be mistaken as to what specific hip replacement device they were implanted with. These recipients often do not have reliable information as to the specific manufacturer, type, and/or model of hip implant that was utilized in their particular procedure, and as such, are not only confused as to what kind of hip implant they do have, but are also unsure of what rights they may have to pursue a defective device claim under the law.

In other words, in light of the 2010 recall of the DePuy ASR hip implant and the more recent 2012 recall of the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABGII model hip implants, it is of paramount importance that hip implant recipients take care to learn if they were implanted with any of these aforementioned devices. Stryker recalled its Rejuvenate and ABGII model hip implants due to incidences of corrosion of the hardware components which resulted in severe pain and discomfort as well as other possible medical issues for patients. DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recalled its ASR model hip implant based on findings of metallosis, elevated levels of Chromium and Cobalt, blood toxicity and/or poisoning, and other associated medical issues.

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

It has been a long-standing practice of orthopedic surgeons performing hip replacement surgeries to choose a specific make and model hip implant for any single patient based on a number of factors, including patient lifestyle, current research, availability, patient specific needs, medical conditions, contraindications, and other considerations. Once an implant device was chosen by a surgeon, it was usual and customary for the implant manufacturer to send out not only the supply hardware but also a set of “airport identification cards” to the doctor and the doctor’s office for distribution to the recipients of that manufacturer’s hip replacement device. Each set of airport identification cards was specific to its manufacturer would generally display information on the brand name of the implant, including manufacturer and model number, as well as any relevant information on any associated hardware. The cards would also usually state that the recipient may inadvertently set off security check point metal detectors in airports, and herein lays the potential problem:


The main purpose of these airport identification cards was not to identify the manufacturer or type of implant the patient had received, but rather to simply make security personnel aware that there was a legitimate reason as to why a metal detector might be set off.

These cards would provide hip implant recipients with a way to let security personnel know that 1) they had a hip replacement device implanted in their body, and that 2) additional or unique security protocols may be required. Moreover, since proper make and model identification was not the primary goal of the airport I.D. card, some physicians, on occasion, would actually distribute whatever airport I.D. card they had on hand in their offices, without regard to the specific implant that a patient had received.

On a side note, after the events of September 11th, the possession of an airport identification card became obsolete, since security personnel were required to subject hip implant recipients to additional security screenings irrespective of whether or not they had such a card. As a result, many physicians stopped handing out airport identification cards altogether.

How Do Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII and DePuy ASR Hip Implant Recipients Proceed from Here?

The best thing for hip implant recipients to do from here (besides look out for their health) is to take every action possible to try and protect their rights under the law. First and foremost, implant recipients need to determine what type of hip replacement device they were implanted with. While it is certainly important to know if an individual was implanted with a recently recalled device such as the DePuy ASR or Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker ABGII, it is also very important to know in general what type of device was implanted in case a future recall of any particular device takes place. Recently, metal on metal hip implants have come under fire, and the future of these types of devices on the market is uncertain.


A highly qualified products liability attorney can help hip implant recipients in determining what make and model of hip replacement device they were implanted with by taking steps to request the production of pertinent medical records from the treating facility where the hip implant surgery was performed and/or from the treating physician who performed the hip implant surgical procedure. Products Liability attorneys can also help you to avoid waiving any rights or legal claims you may have.

Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII and DePuy ASR Hip Implant Misidentification: Conclusions

It would therefore appear that there is a great possibility that many hip replacement patients may have very well misidentified the make and model of the hip implant device that they were implanted with. The haphazard airport identification card distribution methods employed by different physicians over the years has certainly allowed for scenarios in which hip replacement patients were either given an airport identification card that did not correctly indicate the type of device an individual had, or allowed for scenarios in which individuals were given no airport identification card at all. In either case, the likelihood is that there are a number of people out there who misinformed about what manufacturer and model of implant was used in their procedure. Most importantly, however, there are probably cases where individuals, upon learning of certain hip device recalls, simply referenced their airport I.D. card and compared the listed make and model with the one(s) listed for recall, and made the assumption that if they were not the same, that they did not have to be concerned over having a recalled hip implant, which is simply not the case.
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Tags: ABGII DePuy ASR Hip Implants Stryker Rejuvenate

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