January 30, 2012 6:02 AM EST
Researchers from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have discovered that more than 30,000 British patients are at risk after undergoing surgeries for hip replacement/implant.
According to a report in The Telegraph, medical regulators are concerned that as many as 30,000 British patients who received Metal on Metal (MOM) implants could be at risk of being poisoned or otherwise hurt by them.
The investigation discovered that the MOM implants, which had a metal ball and cup, could drop tiny metal fillings when the two pieces rubbed against each other – as they would during any normal day-to-day activity. The fear is that if enough of these fillings gathered, they would be dangerous enough to destroy muscles, bones and even, The Telegraph report continued, slowly poison the nervous system, the heart and the lungs.
Medical regulators have taken prompt action over safety concerns but they say the majority of people with such devices are at “low risk of developing any serious problems”.
“On the evidence currently available, the majority of patients implanted with metal-on-metal hip replacements are at low risk of developing any serious problems,” said a spokesperson from the MHRA to the Press Association.
“We are continuing to closely monitor all evidence. This needs more analysis before any conclusions can be drawn and further advice given. We have already taken prompt action to investigate safety concerns and have provided advice on patient management to relevant healthcare professionals,” the spokesperson added.
- Tens of thousands of British patients with metal hip replacements at risk of being poisoned (earlsview.com)
- Kiwis told of implant poison risk – Metal on Metal (earlsview.com)
- Health warning over Metal on Metal hip implants – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Fears Over Hip Replacement ‘Poisoning’ (news.sky.com)
- National News: Poisoning fears over hip implants (coventrytelegraph.net)
- Poison fears sparked over hips (thesun.co.uk)
- Poisonous hip implants ‘putting thousands of British patients at risk’ as medical watchdog launches investigation (dailymail.co.uk)
- Hip implants threat to thousands of Scots – Scotsman (scotsman.com)
- More Hocus Pocus around the Smith & Nephew BHR Metallosis Problems (earlsview.com)
- Fears over hip replacements (independent.co.uk)