Belfast Telegraph

Mesh implants action law firm says op ruined some of its clients' lives

By Michael Sheils McNamee

The lives of some women who have undergone vaginal mesh implants have been "devastated" by the procedures, a solicitor has claimed.

Joanne Kerr, who is handling the case for Belfast-based negligence solicitors Thompsons NI, said it is still too early to tell how many could potentially have been impacted.

"It has devastated some of the women that we have spoken to. It has absolutely devastated their lives," Ms Kerr told the Belfast Telegraph.

A number of affected women have already come forward, and others are being urged to seek legal advice.

Procedures involving the use of the mesh are used to treat issues like pelvic organ prolapses and stress incontinence. According to the legal firm, some of the women it is acting on behalf of have reported "pieces of the mesh appearing through the tissue wall, causing extreme pain and discomfort, and in some cases mobility problems".

The time frame for the development of the case is unclear, with Ms Kerr saying that it is "only really at the start of the process".

"It depends on a number of factors that we can't determine at the present time," she said.

"It depends on the attitudes of the defendants etc, about how long it might take to come to conclusion."

The Department of Health said: "It is recognised that women who have undergone these procedures may experience complications, as is the case with any surgical procedure, and these symptoms can be distressing.

"Any woman who is experiencing distressing symptoms that are related to having undergone this procedure should, in the first instance, seek advice from their GP."

Between 2007/2008 and 2015/16 a total of 5,575 of the mesh implants were carried out here.

It is anticipated that action will be taken against various health trusts in Northern Ireland.

The women can pursue either a product liability claim, or a standalone clinical negligence claim.

"We will pursue the avenue that we feel is most beneficial to the individual woman," Ms Kerr added.

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