On Friday, the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) said people who have undergone a hip replacement in recent years may have been fitted with a faulty product.

The HSE has sent a letter to all hospitals in Ireland instructing them to stop using a device by US-based firm DePuy Orthopaedics.

The company has recalled two of its ASR hip products due to patients requiring further surgery after their placements.

Over the past six years, 3,500 Irish patients have received the ASR hip system.

Many are now expected to undergo blood tests, MRI scans and ultrasounds to determine if they require further surgery.

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) said while most hip replacements involving the ASR product had been successful, 12 incidents had so far been reported from Irish patients.

“Data recently received by DePuy shows that after five years, approximately 12% of patients who received the ASR hip require replacement of their implant, a higher rate than expected, and this has led to the recall,” an IMB spokeswoman said.

“Patients who have been implanted with the affected devices will be contacted in the coming weeks for review.”

The maker of the product, DePuy Orthopaedics, have set up a guide on its website for people who may be affected by the recall.

“Hospitals have been advised that this product should not be used in any hip replacement surgeries with immediate effect,” a HSE spokeswoman said.

“The HSE is now identifying all patients who may have received this device as part of their hip replacement.

“Hospitals will be contacting all affected patients directly and will take all steps necessary to ensure patients receive appropriate follow-up.

“We will be liaising closely with the Irish Medicines Board and the manufacturers DePuy as part of this ongoing process.”