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British Patients At Risk after Hip Implant Surgery

By AKSHAYA B S: Subscribe to Akshaya‘s RSS feed

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.