“Are women more likely to be harmed by medical device failures?”
By: Ben Hallman
For the last year, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has been investigating the medical device industry around the world. They found that there are very relaxed regulations in the implant industry, which allows dangerous products, like metal on metal hip replacements, to be implanted into millions of patients.
The investigators were particularly shocked at the number of dangerous devices that were marketed towards women. After their extensive investigation into the implant world, they found that “women were disproportionately harmed in many of the scandals that have plagued the industry.”
Women are now banding together into interest groups and demanding that regulators do more to protect them from dangerous devices because women are more likely to experience complications from medical devices than men.
The authors discuss the shockingly high failure rates of female-specific implants. However, the authors found that women face more complications than men using the same exact implants.
This is especially true for hip replacements. For instance, the failure rate for hip implants in women is 29% higher than that of men. Additionally, women are more likely to suffer from hypersensitivity to metal used in hip implants.
This, according to the authors, happens for many reasons. First, clinical trials don’t include enough women. Second, doctors don’t always believe women who claim their devices are harming them. The authors discuss several stories where women expressed that they believed their implants were causing them problems, but their doctors did not believe them.