Another medical scare - when 3M Healthcare revealed that up to
5,000 people may have been given faulty hip implants - and the media
Failure of technology combined with suggestions of foot-dragging or
worse, with diagrams to satisfy the most ardent fantasy surgeon.
3M was prominent from the start, although heroes and villains were not
easily distnguished on 19 February. By 20 February, the medics at Harlow
Wood were the stars and the Medical Devices Agency (MDA) was cast in a
somewhat ambivalent role.
3M’s offer to pay all the costs and ’commitment to life-long follow-up’
covered on 20/21 February proved to be an effective crisis response.
Reports of a meeting between health secretary Frank Dobson, BUPA and
3M’s management successfully defused the situation. Suggestions of an
attempted cover-up by 3M or the MDA surfaced briefly but petered out.
The most unlikely mini-hero was the impending EU Medical Devices
Directive, to the rescue of beleaguered patients and their hips.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by The
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: