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Lifelong checks are needed for patients fitted with dangerous hip implants

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1545 (Published 29 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1545
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Around 49 000 UK patients with metal-on-metal hip implants with a femoral diameter of 36 mm or more will need follow-up tests for the rest of their lives, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has announced in what could prove to be the biggest medical device dispute for years.

The agency issued a medical device alert on the hip implants at an emergency briefing yesterday, called to coincide with the release of the findings of an investigation by the BMJ and BBC Newsnight, which revealed problems with metal-on-metal implants caused by metal ions leaking into the body.

Metal-on-metal implants, which have been used since the late 1990s, …

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