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by Tom Freeman
06 September 2018
Call for mesh implant ban after woman’s death linked with the procedure

Neil Findlay MSP raises mesh implants - Scottish Parliament

Call for mesh implant ban after woman’s death linked with the procedure

Controversial mesh implants for women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence should be banned after one was linked with the death of a women in West Lothian, Neil Findlay MSP has said.

Eileen Baxter’s mesh implant was listed as an underlying cause of her death from organ failure last month.

It is thought she is the first case where the procedure has been linked directly with a death, but many women have experienced debilitating and life changing complications after getting an implant.

Findlay raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions, asking Nicola Sturgeon to launch an inquiry into the death.

"Will she instruct NHS boards not to buy one more box of mesh implants? Will she instruct the NHS to clear their shelves of all mesh?” he said.

“And will she make sure that not another implant is carried out in Scotland using this grotesque and deadly product?”

Last month Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee warned a moratorium on the use of the products was not being upheld and the procedure was still being carried out.

The group of MSPs recommended a complete ban.

A review into the issue was labelled a whitewash by campaigners and Professor Alison Britton of Glasgow Caledonian University was asked to examine and report on the independent review process.

Sturgeon pledged to discuss the matter with new Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

“The use, other than in exceptional circumstances, remains under suspension in NHS Scotland,” she said.

“We've seen the number of operations fall dramatically. In the six months to March this year there were 33 operations carried out. That compares to over 11,000 in a similar period in 2013/14.

“We will continue to have that suspension in place until the chief medical officer is satisfied. The chief medical officer also announced some further actions followed the petitions committee report.

“Medical devices across the UK are regulated by the medicines and health care products regulatory agency and that is a reserved matter, but we will continue to work within the health service to ensure that we are taking appropriate action.”

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