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"Deaths caused by implants" - Thousands of incidents reported

During the past five years nearly 4,000 reports were made of incidents involving implants.  The figures comes from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that claims that the authorities are failing to release the figures.

In Belgium journalists at Knack, De Tijd and Le Soir took part in the research.  They say that 3,798 incidents involving hip replacements, pacemakers and heart pumps were made.

The Consortium earlier came to prominence with the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks.  Their dossier "Implant Files" covers 36 countries. The figures show that Belgium's medicines and health products agency FAGG received 3,798 reports of incidents between 2013 and 2018 and that figure doesn't include dental and breast implants!  The seriousness of the complaints varies from poor labelling to serious faults or mistakes that endanger patients' lives.  Seventy-two incidents with implants involved fatalities.  In three cases the deaths are being directly linked to the implants.  

The journalists are also unhappy that the Belgian authorities prefer not to release details of incidents with implants to the wider public. FAGG's Hugues Malonne: "We don't want to distress the public unnecessarily.  We agree the agency should provide more information to patients, but we simply don't have the means."

Forty-three experts are believed to be working on implants at FAGG with a further nine employed at social security.  The Consortium suggests that fifty people supervising the safety pf half a million implants is not enough.

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