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Mesh injured feeling validated at last

21 May 2014

Mesh injured feeling validated at last

A desperate plea for the government to open an inquiry into the use of surgical mesh has been taken to another level after the Health Select Committee read a written submission yesterday.

In April, the Health Select Committee asked Carmel Berry and Charlotte Korte - two women who have been severely injured by mesh - to prepare the written submission in response to a nationwide petition urging for the inquiry.

Unknown to each other two years ago, Carmel and Charlotte met through a New Zealand based online support group for people injured by mesh where they exchanged personal stories.

Beyond their commonality of both being seriously injured by surgical mesh implants, together the duo decided to try to make a change to the way this controversial product is used and regulated in New Zealand.

“Initially we were both told by our doctors that our complications were extremely rare,” Charlotte said.

“Then we discovered there are hundreds of patients suffering after having mesh implants, and the number is increasing year after year - we want to halt that trend.”

The pair said that’s when they began investigating how to make changes in legislation.

“We have now begun the process by submitting a plethora of relevant information to the Health Select Committee” Berry said.

The submission focuses on the growing number of ACC claims related to mesh injuries, the giant gap between the number of claims and the number of reports to Medsafe – our consumer ‘medical device safety watchdog’.

“We emphasise that Medsafe do not require mesh implants to be approved before being marketed in New Zealand as well as the seriously flawed ‘clearance’ process that the FDA employs to regulate medical devices, particularly as Medsafe defer to the FDA as a ‘more robust’ pre-market testing,” Carmel said.

“We also highlighted the safety of polypropylene plastic as a permanent human implant and have asked that this be investigated.”

“Informed consent is also a huge issue with patients not being fully informed of the ‘not rare’ risk of long term complications. Not only this, but of the difficulties in removing the mesh once complications have occurred”.

Both women are hoping to continue discussions with the Health Select Committee in the coming weeks.



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