Bone Cement Class Action Lawsuit

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Hip Replacement Surgery Linked to Heart Attack, Toxic Reactions, Death

Hip implant operations which involved the use of bone cement has resulted in the deaths of more than 40 patients in the U.K. According to researchers at the National Health Service (NHS), at least 62 patients have died or suffered adverse health complications following hip replacement surgery where bone cement was used. Specifically:

  • 41 patients died;
  • 14 suffered heart attacks but were successfully resuscitated;
  • 7 experienced a “peri-arrest period”, where their condition became dangerously unstable;
  • In 55 of the 63 patients, complications were observed within three minutes of bone cement being applied.

Bone cement complications were first reported back in 2009, but it continues to be used during hip arthroplasty surgery, often in elderly patients with heart problems. Many fear the number of reported problems linked to bone cement may represent just a tiny fraction of the actual number of complications due to underreporting.

What is Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome (BCIS)?

Bone cement implantation syndrome is a toxic reaction that occurs in patients who undergo hip arthroplasty surgery with bone cement. As hip implant operations are becoming increasingly frequent in the aging population, older patients are at an increased risk developing the condition. Symptoms of bone cement implantation syndrome may include:

  • Hypotension
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Increased central venous pressure
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Anoxia/hypoxemia
  • Cardiac dysrhythmia/arrhythmias
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sudden death
  • Fat/marrow emboli
  • Hypothermia
  • Thrombocytopenia

Lawsuit Filed Over Bone Cement Death

A lawsuit was recently filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Synthes unit and its former subsidiary Norian Corp. on behalf of the family of a woman who died during an unapproved bone cement trial. Lois L. Eskind died in January of 2003, after she was injected in her spine with Norian SRS drug mixed with barium sulfate. Minutes after the injection she suffered a cardiac arrest and died, according to the lawsuit, which was filed by Eskind’s daughter in Philadelphia Federal Court. The complaint makes claims of wrongful death, negligence and fraud.

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