Mesh Injuries Front Page News as Scottish Mesh Petitioners Meet With Parliament

//Mesh Injuries Front Page News as Scottish Mesh Petitioners Meet With Parliament

Mesh Injuries Front Page News as Scottish Mesh Petitioners Meet With Parliament

bbc scotsToday’s story from the BBC shows women in Scotland implanted with pelvic mesh are making front page news and making headway in their fight to raise awareness of pelvic mesh injuries. See the BBC story here.

Tuesday, several mesh implant survivors gave “heartbreaking” evidence to the Scottish Parliament Committee. The Scottish Mesh Survivors campaign has been urging the government to act in the face of several hundred mesh injuries called “the tip of the iceberg.”

Petitioner Olive McIlroy said all mesh implant surgery should be suspended in Scotland.

Olive McLLroy

Olive McLLroy

“I personally met with some of the women affected and I am clear that no one else should have to go through the suffering they have experienced. I think it is imperative that we have expert opinion of the full implications of the use of mesh implants and I think it is of paramount importance that we can be in a position to reassure women all across Scotland that this issue is being treated with the severity it deserves.”

Mesh patient Elaine Holmes told the parliamentary committee the mesh-injured women present can’t benefit anyway from today’s testimony but hopefully women in the future will.

Scottish Parliament Committee hearing

Scottish Parliament Committee hearing

Women in the audience were seen behind McLLroy crying and supporting each other “Please make changes to prevent scandals like this in the future,” she pleaded.

One committee member called the petition “one of the most horrific petitions” she’d ever come across.

It’s estimated about 1,500 Scottish women are implanted annually with polypropylene mesh to treat incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse which often happens following childbirth. Scottish Mesh Survivors petitioned the Scottish government to act through the MHRA, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the UK version of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil had written to the chairman of MHRA to seeking an “urgent meeting” to discuss transvaginal mesh.

In Scotland an expert group met in February and will issue an informational leaflet to give to women before they undergo surgery for POP or SUI using polypropylene mesh, the most commonly used mesh material, to let them know there are alternatives to mesh.

McIlroy wants it go further. She is asking implant surgeries be suspended and that reporting adverse events mandatory. At the present time there have been only 12 doctors who have reported adverse events.  Petitioners also want an implant registry and full informed consent.

Marion Scott, Sunday Mail reporter

Marion Scott, Sunday Mail reporter

Sunday Mail reporter Marion Scott, who has been the primary news reporter on mesh injuries in the country, also testified alongside the mesh survivors.

Watch the entire hearing on BBC Democracy Live here.

Scottish Petition Here.

See More Headlines in Scotland:

Women warn of incontinence implants Watch , 11 MARCH 2014, SCOTLAND

Faulty implants end women’s sex life,  10 MARCH 2014, SCOTLAND

BBC on Scottish Survivors June 2

Radio Clyde News, Linda Sinclair

Video STV News may 13

Health Minister Scotland Calls for Urgent Review of Controversial Treatment, May 11, 2014

STV News May 13, 2014

Grieving daughter May 18 2014

Scottish Health Neil on Mesh

Health Sec Alex Neil also considering reclassification in the UK

April 2014 Petition to Keep Mesh out of Hospitals, Start an Inquiry

Scottish Mesh Survivors- FB Page

MND – About 400 Scottish Lawsuits- Jan 2014

Mesh Medical Device News Desk Scottish Stories


By |2014-06-03T19:10:54+00:00June 3rd, 2014|Media Reports|4 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Jane Akre June 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Marion Scott reports to MND:

    Hi Jane thanks for the coverage- We are delighted that the Petitions Committee are taking swift action over the petition and we will be attending again in two or three weeks time when the Health Minister and Public Health Secretary will be called to give evidence over their actions, or lack of according to victims.

    We were heartened by comments by the Petitions Chairman who said it was one of the most crucial he had ever dealt with. Politicians from all parties were visibly moved by the women and I believe they will tackle the issue now they have seen for themselves the damage being done.

    However, I am sure at the next meeting we will still hear from the ministers all the usual rhetoric about how the benefits outweigh the risks- all the same old arguments for doing nothing at all- despite the hundreds of thousands of injured women worldwide.

    I asked recently if our Health Minister knew how many Scottish women had been given a device found to be defective in a US court two months ago. I wanted to know if these women had been contacted, warned and a check was carried out on their health.

    Incredibly, the Health Minister was forced to admit that he did not know how many women had been given that particular device. No central records had been kept.

    If we had been asking about a defective car part, a manufacturer would have been bound by law to have kept proper records if there a recall was ever needed.

    Not so, it seems, when it comes down to a little matter of women’s health. Truly shocking! After we addressed the Petitions Committee, Scotland’s Health Minister Alex Neil did go on television and tried to defend the indefensible- that despite mesh operations causing horrific complications for as many as 1 in 5 women- at least the ops have been a ‘success for the other 80 per cent’.

    I don’t know about you, but a 1 in 5 chance of ending up crippled and in constant pain does not seem a very attractive odds to me for what is still being described as a ‘simple little procedure’.

    I was extremely proud of all the mesh injured women who travelled from all over the country to attend parliament, despite their pain and discomfort. Thanks also need to go to those professionals who gave the great advice and support which allowed us to get to this stage.

    Campaigners feel that if we can get mesh suspended here in Scotland it will make it easier for others elsewhere in the world to do the same thing.

    We also hope that others will be inspired to do what we are doing here.

    One of the biggest accomplishments has been that the new consent and information forms campaigners have been working on should be in operation by the end of the month. At least women in the future will be told EVERYTHING they need to know about this controversial surgery BEFORE they make an informed decision on whether to go ahead or not.

    That is at least a world of difference from the stories told to me by the hundreds of victims I am in touch with.

    One of the biggest hurdles we face is ensuring mandatory reporting by doctors of all adverse incidents. Despite hundreds of women being forced to undergo corrective surgeries, some as many as 10 or 12 operations to remove or correct damage caused by mesh- just 12 incidents were reported by doctors.

    Just 12!

    That is shameful.

    Why are these doctors not reporting?

    Because they don’t have to!

    That has to change if we are ever going to get the truth about just how many women have been damaged by mesh. I fear many doctors are still dismissive. Women say they are still being assured by doctors that they aren’t getting the problematic mesh highlighted in the newspapers- it’s tape!

    They just don’t tell them it’s tape made out of the same mesh that has been leaving so many women crippled and in pain. One lady told me a very upsetting story the other day that sums it all up for me. Her daughter works in a hospital and she asked a senior surgeon what he thought about the ‘mesh scandal.’ He replied ‘a lot of hysterical women complaining about nothing’.

    I dearly wish that respected surgeon could be called to parliament to tell that to all those formerly healthy women who have ended up disabled for life, stuck in wheelchairs, or walking with sticks. That surgeon’s answer is why we must have mandatory doctor reporting.

    Until we do, I’m afraid the mesh scandal will not be the last medical scandal we see.

    Thanks, Marion x

    Sunday Mail Newsdesk

  2. teresa hughes June 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I have campaigned since 2008 and as a mesh sufferer I am severely disabled and have lots of Health issues due to this mesh implant.

    I have travelled thousands of miles and spent thousands of pounds of my own money to bring this mesh issue to the forefront in England and the rest of The United Kingdom..

    Having been to The European Commission in Brussels for talks with the Consumer Affairs Minister and also met with Lord Howe and Catherine Calderwood at The Department of Health.

    Also I been to see David Richmond The President of Urology and also Ash Monga The Chairman of Baus. Also various members of Parliament and John Wilkinson MHRA UK and also Dr Susanne Ludgate MHRA UK.

    In all of this they are all still in denial of mesh injuries and say benefits outweigh the risks. Talk about all of them burying their heads in the sand.

    I commend the Scottish Women for all of their hard work in bringing this mesh issue to the forefront in Scotland it must be exhausting for them to have to deal with all of these meetings.

    I wish you all the very best with your campaign.

    Teresa Hughes

  3. Olive McIlroy June 5, 2014 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Hi Jane

    Sincere thanks for your tireless campaign putting a face on adverse incidents and for the brave individuals that speak out.

    As joint petitioner with Elaine Holmes, the continued support of Marion and The Hear Our Voice Scottish Sunday Mail Campaign we are slowly reaching the individuals that really need to listen and make the necessary changes to medical Device regulations.

    The Scottish Mesh Survivors Petition was described as the most horrific compelling petition the committee had heard in a long time. The comprehensive list of actions the committee plan to activate is way more than we expected to achieve, lets be confident they will lead to the actual changes required to protect patients of the future.

    Reading the concluding statement that thanked everyone involved I was glad I could only hear the mesh injured girls behind me and not actually see what they were going through otherwise the emotional dialogue from myself and Elaine would have been even more difficult to say.

    Thanks to Teresa Hughes for her kind words and I would say to everyone that knows about mesh medical device complications in any capacity learn as much as they can about them, how they are regulated, where they were born and the journey that led them into operating theatres. Knowledge is power. Use that knowledge to network around the globe because everyone needs to know how easily medical devices reach a theatre near you, It is a scary movie. Medical mesh devices affect the male populations too so don’t be complacent. We have the opportunity to turn this mesh around for future patients, the existing mesh injured individuals have to manage and adapt to their chronic disabilities, for them their is no off switch.

    How can Clinicians say a device is safe when they don’t really know the safety regulations, they don’t really pay attention to how the manufacturers marketed their products. Clinicians truly believe if the device or medical equipment is available to use in their hospital or working environment then it must safe. Without mandatory reporting of adverse incidents when medical devices seem to fail for whatever reason there is no reporting by Clinicians. No red flags and the regulators think everything in the garden is rosy when really the thorns are everywhere causing excruciating symptoms and as Teresa commented their seems to be a lot of sand about.

    Patients do your homework and campaigners don’t give up ever, the alternative evidence is overwhelming. To my fellow campaigner and best friend Elaine Holmes, I am so glad we met through determination and opportunity. Where there is a will there is a way. The only good thing to come out of mesh complications is the strong friendships that have developed as patients find each other for support. We are Scottish Mesh Survivors and we are doing what we do best, Surviving and raising awareness on all mesh medical device possible complications. Thanks Jane

  4. Olive McIlroy June 6, 2014 at 5:22 am - Reply

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