Thousands of Scots set for payouts over faulty hip replacements
Dec 5 2011 By John Ferguson
THOUSANDS of Scots with hip replacements could be in line for compensation of up to £1million after a popular implant was found to be faulty.
DePuy ASR implants have been in clinical use in the UK since 2003, with many fitted by NHS doctors in Scottish patents.
But last year the system was recalled after manufacturers found some were leaking high levels of cobalt and chromium into the blood, which has been linked with extreme pain, non-cancerous tumours and muscle wastage.
Victims who have already launched legal action in other parts of the UK and abroad are believed to be seeking between £25,000 and £1million depending on the extent of their injuries.
Solicitor advocate Patrick McGuire, of personal injury experts Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The withdrawal of the DePuy ASR models of hip implants was a very concerning event.
“They were found to have serious problems and can cause some very painful symptoms.
“We’ve only recently started to see the real effects of these defective metal-on-metal hip implants come through.
“People can be in great pain and have to undergo serious operations to rectify the problem.”
According to the NHS, 54,450 hip replacements have been carried out in Scotland since the implants’ introduction in 2003.
Glasgow, Lothian and Grampian areas could be worst hit by the hip problems, with the highest number of hip operations being carried out in those health board areas.
It is not known how many DePuy ASR hips were fitted in Scotland.
Mr McGuire added: “At the moment it is just the DePuy models that have been identified as defective but it is unknown whether other brands are also affected.
Factfile of hip procedures between 2003 NHS health “Thousands of hip replacements are carried out a year across Scotland, so it is safe to say that this could affect thousands of patients.
The victims of this dangerous defect deserve redress for their pain, suffering and worry.”
Thompsons have set up a hip compensation claims service in the hope of winning hundreds of clients.
Mr McGuire added: “Through hip compensation claims we aim to offer them the best legal support possible to get 1709 them the best compensation.
“If people think they could be affected they should contact us for free advice on their legal rights.”
Patients in line for compensation have suffered a range of symptoms including groin and hip pain, trouble walking, clicking in the hip, inflammation and loss of feeling in the legs.
Manufacturers DePuy – owned by US multinational pharmaceutical Johnson and Johnson – say around 93,000 of the implants were used worldwide.
Total number of hip replacement procedures carried out 2003-2010
Glasgow& Clyde – 12,221 Lothian – 7881 Grampian – 6373 Tayside – 5682 Golden Jubilee National Hospital – 4899 Highland – 3241 Ayrshire and Arran – 3224 Lanarkshire – 3149 – 3021 Forth Valley – 1709 Borders – 1530 Dumfries and Galloway – 1048 Western Isles – 424 Orkney Islands – 6 Shetland Islands – 6.