Medical Negligence

Comment: Long-term mesh complications may not surface for years to come

February 8, 2019
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Written by Christian Beadell, Partner & Head of Legal Strategy & Ops

Senior Medical Negligence Solicitor, Christian Beadell has questioned mesh manufacturer reassurances the material is safe to use in gynaecological procedures.

Christian’s comments are in response to a recent Sky News interview with Chartered Chemist, Dr Chris DeArmitt.

Despite reassurances from manufacturers that mesh is safe, Charlotte Lomas’ excellent report is a reminder that long term complications may not surface for years to come.

Dr DeArmitt, a plastic materials consultant, reintroduced the idea that thousands of women could still be at risk from mesh-related complications.

He said.

I see an absolute disregard for proper testing.

Testing is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine.

It’s shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.

What is vaginal mesh?

The net-like fabric attaches to the wall of the vagina to act as a scaffold to support organs.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 women in the UK have had a mesh fitted.

It also helps manage incontinence or another condition called prolapse.

Conundrum for claimants

After the Government suspended vaginal mesh surgery in NHS hospitals last year, Christian upheld, ‘if mesh implants are an option then women they MUST be fully aware of the risks and alternative treatments.’

Unfortunately, there has been little redress since for the women affected.

Before issues relating to mesh came to the fore, patients were advised that vaginal mesh was safe, inert and would provide lifelong freedom from recurrent prolapse.

Christian concluded that Dr DeArmitt’s comments also identify a conundrum for claimants.

If mesh is unsafe and dangerous, as many experts claim, why does the MHRA consider it to be safe for treating stress incontinence?

If it is safe for use on one part of the body, why not the other?

With limited options for UK claimants to pursue any form of redress against manufacturers, unless they join a US group action, more enquiries to my team are looking at the treating consultant’s decision to recommend mesh use at all with a view to pursuing a clinical negligence claim.

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