June 19, 2014 — As nearly 60,000 lawsuits involving vaginal mesh progress through the American federal court system, Scottish health secretary Alex Neil has asked health regulatory agencies to temporarily suspend implants of the device.
Neil says he is planning to establish an independent safety review of the products. Scotland’s 14 regional health boards are investigating complaints that the devices can cause devastating complications that are often difficult or impossible to treat. Some of the boards have already phased out the procedure; others said they would comply with Mr. Neil’s request, according to the BBC.
According to Mr. Neil:
“The percentage of complications is probably substantially under-estimated because of the under-reporting of adverse events … No-one should have to experience the level of suffering that some of these women have had.”
Many women have come forward after experiencing chronic pain, urinary problems, pain during intercourse, scarring, erosion of the mesh, and other complications that require surgery.
According to The Scotsman, vaginal mesh is implanted in about 1,500 women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and about 350 women with pelvic organ prolapse in Scotland every year. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed in Scotland. These lawsuits accuse manufacturers of selling defective implants that were not tested or designed properly. In fact, some of the most popular implants are based on a product that was recalled for safety reasons.
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