Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Sandra Duffy has welcomed today’s publication of data concerning the number of surgical mesh implants to address pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, carried out by the health service here.
Councillor Duffy said:
“The audit, published by the Department of Health, reviewed data on procedures carried out between 2008 and 2017 to determine the frequency of such surgery and the rate of subsequent removals.
“More information is always useful but unfortunately the gaps in this document tell us more about the state of record keeping than the actual issue.
“The analysis doesn’t include variables such as the type of mesh used, the surgical technique used or patient profiles as these are not collected as part of the hospital inpatient system. The data also doesn’t record the severity of the condition before surgery or any subsequent complications.”
Commenting on the findings of a global investigation into the medical device industry, Sandra Duffy said the processes by which medical devices including mesh implants are developed, tested and monitored is endangering patient outcomes.
“A probe carried out by a consortium of 252 investigative journalists using Freedom of Information requests, revealed that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency received more than 62,000 adverse incident linked to the use of medical devices within the last three years.
“Clearly the current method of developing, marketing and monitoring medical devices, including mesh implants, is letting patients down badly. The monitoring system used by doctors and surgeons to report complications is not triggering sufficient investigations.
“Patients from around the world are suffering pain and having their lives put at risk as a result of faulty medical devices. Supporting women damaged by mesh has made me very aware of the suffering poorly tested and poorly monitored devices can cause. This must be stopped.