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Faulty hip implants force hospital to redo 200 surgeries

DPA/The Local · 1 Mar 2010, 15:40

Published: 01 Mar 2010 15:40 GMT+01:00

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About one third of those who have had joint replacement surgery between 2004 and 2008 at the city's Loretto hospital will be affected by the defect after two studies showed that metal shavings could separate from the implant.

Neither the clinic nor doctors there are at fault for the problem, the hospital said.

In the last 20 years this “hasn’t happened a single time” with other prostheses, said surgeon Marcel Rütschi, who has replaced more than 3,000 artificial hips during his career.

But in 2008 Rütschi treated a patient who got an infection because of metal pieces that broke off the implant. The surgeon then decided to stop using the artificial hips due to suspicions that the joint wasn’t working properly.

The hospital has since checked in with almost all 720 patients who received the implant at the hospital, and more than one hundred have already had theirs replaced. Another 125 patients still await their replacements, which the RkK will pay for, the organisation said.

Story continues below…

The unnamed manufacturer of the prosthesis has blamed the problem on surgical error, saying doctors did not properly insert the implant into the hip bone, but the RkK said their newly published study proves the complications arose from metal bits from the device.

The €30,000 study is meant to clear the hospital of any suspicion of malpractice while it considers a legal case against the prosthesis manufacturer.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:26 March 1, 2010 by galam
What kind of education do the doctors have? How can these happen in a country, which said one of most developed countries in the world?

really surprises me!
16:49 March 1, 2010 by michael4096
Did you read the article?

The problem was faulty devices, not the doctors.
09:10 March 2, 2010 by galam
hello Michael, Well If I give I am a good doc, and you are the supplier of devices. I should be able to identify if the quality of the material/device is good or not, before implanting in the patients body.

For example the dentists have the adequate knowledge to identify if the material of making a bridge in the tooth is good or not by examining specific gravity, material quality etc.

So if the docs were properly educated and trained, this bad thing would have happened. Hope I explained clearly...
10:35 March 2, 2010 by michael4096
I understand. However, if your car is repaired and an engineer instals a new vendor provided crank-shaft, would you blame the installation engineer when the component fails after 10,000km?
11:10 March 2, 2010 by galam
Car is a car. And human life is a human life. That is why when enrolling to a medical school, future doctors are give oath to do all the necessary things and use best of knowledge to save patients life.

There should have been some instruments the doctors could have used if the implanting devices were good or not. I believe in a most modernized country like Germany, should have this kind of facilities or if not building facilities for testing the devices won"t be a big issue.

Just think how much pain the patient would have go through when implanting the second time.
16:52 March 3, 2010 by michael4096
As a patient, I don't have to imagine pain. However, I still don't understand how the doctors can be expected to identify defect artificial hips. They don't have a sell by date
08:58 March 4, 2010 by galam
@michael4096 as you wrote "how the doctors can be expected to identify defect artificial hips."

Ans: There should have been some instruments the doctors could have used if the implanting devices were good or not. I believe in a most modernized country like Germany, should have this kind of facilities or if not building facilities for testing the devices won"t be a big issue.

In a hospital there should have been some labs to verify test the material which is going to be implanted.

And what make me more sad the heading of the news,

"Faulty hip implants force hospital to redo 200 surgeries" specially the word "force".

It is the utmost responsibility of the doctors and hospital administration to redo, they should have felt guilt. Why they have to be forced.

Seems like a bunch of people who did not wanted to be a doctor from the heart, rather they saw something else in that profession ..."money".

Last but not least..probably you won"t compare human life with a car.
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