Share this site! The Safe Patient Project is a Consumers Union campaign focused on eliminating medical harm, improving FDA oversight of prescription drugs and promoting disclosure laws that give information to consumers about health care safety and quality.
Hip and Knee Replacement

Hip and Knee Replacement

More and more people are getting hip and knee replacements to feel better, play longer. And if the hip or knee implant fails, it likely will require revision surgery, which is both painful and costly. Implants don’t come with a warranty. Consumers Union is calling on the top manufacturers of hip and knee implants to begin offering warranties for their products and take responsibility for the associated costs if they fail due to a product defective.

Hip and Knee Implant Warranty Information

Consumers Union Documents

Consumers Union News Releases

Blog Posts

  • Congress puts pharma before patient safety with 21st Century Cures

    A bill in Congress has several key provisions that would significantly weaken consumer protections and lead to patients being exposed to potentially unsafe or ineffective drugs and medical devices. Tell your Senators you support safe, effective, and affordable cures.

  • The Truth About Sleeping Pills

    Here’s what you need to know about sleep drugs and the risks.

  • 5 Reasons Why Duodenoscope Problems Matter

    Duodenoscopes have contributed to deadly CRE infection outbreaks across the country. Learn how to protect yourself.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Your Medications

    Learn the Risks and Benefits of Any Drug You Take Taking a new medication is a big deal. When a doctor recommends a new prescription, you should walk away knowing why it was prescribed and how you should monitor your symptoms after taking it. The more informed you are as a patient, the easier it will Continue Reading

  • These people are working to make your health care safer

    Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project hosts a national gathering of patient safety activists from across the country to connect face-to-face, share information and strategize on future work together. This year November 11-13, we held our 9th summit in Yonkers, NY, headquarters of Consumer Reports.

News Articles

  • Hospital Readmission Rates Falling Among Older Adults Receiving Joint Replacements
    Source: AARP (Monday November 30, 2015)

    The number of hip and knee replacements is increasing dramatically. The good news is hospital readmission rates for complications are going down.

  • It pays to read the warnings when you open up a prescription
    Source: Wash. Post (Monday August 3, 2015)

    Barbara Odanaka was hospitalized with pneumonia and was prescribed levofloxacin, an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone drug class. She was not told about fluoroquinolone toxicity, a disorder of the musculoskeletal system.

  • The 21st Century Cures Act — Will It Take Us Back in Time?
    Source: NEJM (Wednesday June 3, 2015)

    Embedded in the language of the 21st Century Cures Act are some good ideas that could streamline the development and evaluation of new drugs and devices; its call for increased NIH funding may prove to be its most useful component. But political forces have also introduced other provisions that could lead to the approval of drugs and devices that are less safe or effective than existing criteria would permit.

  • Opinion: Don’t Weaken the F.D.A.’s Drug Approval Process
    Source: NYT (Thursday June 11, 2015)

    “The 21st Century Cures Act, which would lower standards for the approval of many medical products and potentially place patients at unnecessary risk.”

  • The 21st Century Cures Act — Will It Take Us Back in Time?
    Source: NEJM (Wednesday June 3, 2015)

    “Patients and physicians would not benefit from legislation that instead of catapulting us into the future, could actually bring back some of the problems we thought we had left behind in the 20th century.

Research and Reports

  • Health Watch USA Newsletter (October 2014)
    Source: Health Watch USA (Thursday October 2, 2014)

    The latest news from KY-based Health Watch USA.

  • Health Watch USA Newsletter (March 2014)
    Source: Health Watch USA (Tuesday May 6, 2014)

    Patient safety news collected by KY-based Health Watch USA. Features Dr Steven Tower on metal-on-metal hip implants.

  • Patient Safety America Newsletter (November 2013)
    Source: Patient Safety America (Thursday October 31, 2013)

    Summary from John James: “The devastation wrought by hurricane Sandy leaves us full of empathy for those who lost loved ones and homes. When disaster unfolds suddenly, we notice it as the news media graphically magnifies the events on our TVs. The disaster that comprises much our medical industry quietly unfolds as medical errors occur in hospitals spread across the nation, and no one is there to produce graphic images of the death and suffering. In an attempt to display some of the suffering, my November newsletter begins with a review of the book “Unaccountable” by Marty Makary, MD. I was not fully aware of the endemic nature of the dangers lurking in hospitals.

    The first two articles deal with medical errors – the first on diagnostic errors and the second on errors of omission. On page 3 I take a look at recent misdeeds of big Pharma, and then deal with ethical issues associated post-marketing drug testing on patients. A business model suggests that providers should start giving us what we really want – health – not medical care. Finally, we have a look at why hospital prices continue to escalate. I hope you find these stories informative.”

  • Patient Safety America Newsletter (October 2013)
    Source: Patient Safety America (Wednesday October 2, 2013)

    Summary from John James: “These are frustrating days in our country because it seems that anyone left in the middle ground on major political issues is rare, or at least they dare not speak. As we chide Congress for its ineptness, we must acknowledge that we put those people there, and in most cases they reflect what we want.

    This month I was honored to have my new estimate of harm to hospitalized patients, which was published in the September issue of the Journal of Patient Safety (, picked up Marshall Allen of Pro Publica ( He brought validity to my estimate by asking MDs in the patient safety community what they thought of my work. I have marked his and other sources that wrote about the new estimate with an asterisk in my “SitesLinks” collection this month. There are many examples of medical care gone bad.

    October’s newsletter deals with 1) over-diagnosis of mental illness, 2) the secrets of the medical industry, 3) how unintended consequences can occur when physician performance is measured, 4) the death toll on women from painkillers, 5) the need to stop calling so many things cancer, and 6) the issues associated with high blood pressure and too much sodium.”

  • Patient Safety America Newsletter (September 2013)
    Source: Patient Safety America (Wednesday August 28, 2013)

    John James’ summary: “Young children often grow up in a world where everything is about their needs, both perceived and real. Wise parents work against this self-centered worldview so that by the time children become adults, they understand that they are not the center of the universe. There is one circumstance where this view must be discouraged – medical care. When receiving medical care you should be the center of all that can be reasonably done for your wellbeing – with you giving informed permission for anything invasive.

    In reality, medical care, although headed in the direction of patient-centered care, has a long way to go. My newsletter’s first article demonstrates this reality. The second suggests that intense care is not usually patient-centered for critically ill patients; furthermore, the money we spend on medical care can be misspent, in part due to the fee-for-service scheme that doctors prefer. The third article describes how stress from medical bills can become pervasive, especially for the uninsured.

    The fourth article slams the FDA for not enforcing a law that requires drug makers to do additional testing of their drugs, and a fifth criticizes Congress for not requiring stronger control of compounding companies. The newsletter ends with an article on regulating those who could misinterpret images, and with another article on cancer-drug makers who downplay the side effects of their potent products.”